How big is the Web? [data]

August 15th, 2012 § 6 comments § permalink

Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web - Opportun...

Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web

I was curious about the total pageviews of the web. It turns out they are not really tracked anywhere, and that they are easy to estimate, so I did a quick analysis.

First I found two sources for ‘global total pageviews’:

  • Akamai Net Usage Index – amazing real time dashboard of part of this data. They say that every minute 3 million pageviews are spent on news sites, and 10 million on social sites. That’s friggin’ a lot of pageviews! But I wanted to know the grand total, and hopefully get some sense on where the blogs are in the picture.
  • blog post about interpolating this data from Alexa. Nice approach, but a few years old data, so I decided to repeat the process.

Alexa publishes pageviews for every site for free as a % of global pageviews. First thing to do was estimate the grand total, as described in that blog post, by looking at the published data from Wikipedia.

11,600,000,000 / 0.5% = 2320,000,000,000 monthly total pageviews on the Web

… told you it was easy 🙂 but that just means we can dig deeper. Alexa publishes the list of top million sites in a downloadable text file, so I wrote a script to go trough it, scrape Alexa pages for top 10.000 sites and store their individual traffic shares.

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