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Mac Musings

The World Wide Web

20 January 2000 - Page not found | Low End Mac

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- Tip Jar

My, how the baby has grown! It was only about five years ago (approximately 1994) that the letters www began to enter the public consciousness. Today there are approximately 5 million* web sites and somewhere over one billion pages, according to a study by Inktomi.

The web is dominated by English (over 86% of all pages) and Unix (Apache serves up 60% of all sites). The Mac has about 1% of the server market, with WebSTAR accounting for 0.93% of all web servers. (Yes, your favorite Mac sites are probably served on Unix machines.)

That puts the Mac ahead of the Dutch. Only about one-half of one percent of web sites are in Dutch, the language of my ancestors.

If you look at the 700 or so** Mac-related sites (everything from MacCentral down to the smallest hobbyist site), our presence accounts for about 0.15% of all sites - and probably less, since a lot of hobbyist sites don't have their own domains.

Based on Inktomi's stats, the average site has about 200 pages. After nearly three years, Low End Mac weighs in at over 1,250 - or a whopping 0.0001% of the entire World Wide Web.

One the billion-plus pages out there, over 750,000 contain links to Yahoo, over 250,000 to mp3.com, and nearly 4,000 to pokemon.com, according to Inktomi (Alta Vista finds over 5,000 links to pokemon.com). As for Low End Mac, a quick search on Alta Vista yields 1,800 links to lowendmac.com or lowendmac.net - I'm almost half as popular as Pokemon!

Again using Alta Vista, we find nearly three million pages with the word Macintosh - 0.3% of the billion or so pages out there mention our favorite computer.

We have to remember that most pages on the web are not about computers. Microsoft only shows us 10.5 million times on the Alta Vista search engine. Out of the billion or so pages out there, maybe 2% (20 million) are about personal computing. Maybe. And probably less.

The Web is truly humongous and still growing. No search engine can index more than a fraction of the sites out there - between them all, maybe half the web has been indexed. Maybe. And probably less. I believe the search engine with the widest database claims to have indexed 25% of the web.

Still, no matter how you slice it, there's a whole lot of information out there, especially if you read English. And whether you use Sherlock to link multiple search engines or use one or two favorites, you can probably find more information that you'll know what to do with on just about any subject on the Web.

* Netcraft counts 9.5 million.
** Macinsites currently lists over 700 Mac-related sites.

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Dan Knight has been using Macs since 1986, sold Macs for several years, supported them for many more years, and has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. If you find Dan's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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