Number of websites 1998
has made another survey of the size of the Web and finds that the growth is
slowing down. Pandia takes a look at the importance of language on the Web.
at the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC)claim
that the Web now contains Some 8.4 million unique sites, compared to 7.1 million
in year 2000.
that the number in 1999 was 4.6 million, this indicates that the growth of the
Web is slowing down. The growth from 1999 to 2000 was 53 percent, from 2000 to
2001 only 18.
should come as no surprise. The period up to 2000 was exactly the years where
Web presence became a necessity among companies and public institutions in the
as so many of them has got their own Web property, the growth must slow down,
and one cannot expect the rest of the world to pick up the slack. The fact that
we are in the midst of a dot com depression does not help either.
of the present 8.4 million websites, 3.1 million are classified as public sites
(i.e. a site that offers content that is freely accessible to the general
public), 2.1 as private (with restricted access) and 3.2 provisional or in a
transitory or unfinished state, according to OCLC.
Web remains predominantly an English speaking continent. As many as 73 percent
of the sites have material predominantly written in the English language. Number
two, German, is found on 7 percent of the sites, Japanese on 5 percent, French
and Spanish on 3 percent each.
are several reasons for this English dominance. The main one is American Web
usage of course. 47 percent of all public websites are found in the US.
Moreover, several of the most Internet intensive countries has English as their
mother tongue, including Canada, the UK and Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
the same time the language of Shakespeare has become the lingua franca of
the Web. A Norwegian site like Pandia is written fully in English, as it gives
us the widest reach possible.
does not mean that webmasters should underestimate the power of having a
non-English version of their websites, however. The fact that there are fewer
German or Spanish websites, means that the chances of getting a good position in
the search engines for pages written in these languages increases significantly.
search engine optimizers are taking advantage of this. Even if they do not
translate entire sites into -- let's say -- Dutch, they do perhaps translate an
article or make a so-called doorway page in order to lure the Dutch into their
main English site.
regards the Dutch, the Scandinavians and some strata of the Indian population,
this may actually work fine, as most of them read English very well. Many
Europeans, Latin-Americans and Asians prefer not read text not written in their
own tongue, however, meaning that you will have to translate the main parts of a
website in order to reach them. Now, that could be very expensive, if you have
to hire a professional translator.
has also a list of the Top 50 Web Sites Most Frequently Linked to from Other
Sites. Note: This list does not measure the number of visitors to a site, and is
therefore not a reliable measure of a site's true popularity. It does, however,
say something about how important webmasters think these websites are.
the top of the list you find Microsoft and Netscape, probably indicating that
there remain a lot of "Download Netscape 4.7 now!" buttons out there.
But then again, they are both search engine portals in their own right.
regards the more traditional search sites, one finds Yahoo at number six and
Alta Vista at number seven, Excite at number 13 and Google at number 14, Lycos
at number 18 and Infoseek at number 19. The fact that Infoseek is no more,
demonstrates the historical lag of these statistics. Many webmasters don't
bother to update many of their links. It is a fair guess that Google will be
closer to the top very soon.