Oclc Research Project Measures The Web

Researchers at OCLC (Online Computer Library Center, Inc.) have determined that the World Wide Web (WWW) has about 3.6 million sites, of which 2.2 million are publicly accessible. They also found that the largest 25,000 sites represent about 50% of the Web’s content, and that the number of sites and their size are climbing.

The project, conducted by the OCLC Office of Research, indicates that the WWW has about 2.2 million Web sites that offer publicly accessible content. These sites contain nearly 300 million Web pages.

These results, obtained in June 1999 through OCLC’s Web Characterization Project, also show that significant portions of the Web are not publicly accessible or do not offer meaningful content. About 400,000 Web sites can be considered “private”, in that they do not offer content that is accessible without fee or prior authorization. In addition, about 1 million sites are “provisional” – either in a transitory or unfinished state (i.e. “Under Construction”) or have only content that, from a general perspective, is meaningless or trivial.

Project findings indicate that adult content claims a small proportion of the Web. About 2% of the public sites – 42,000 of the 2.2 million – contain sexually explicit material.

The mean size of a public Web site is about 129 pages, a 13% increase over last year’s estimate of 114 pages. The Web is dominated by a relatively small collection of “megasites” – the largest 25,000 sites contain about 50% of all pages on public sites.

The number of public Web sites has approximately tripled in the two-year period from June 1997 to June 1999, increasing from 800,000 to 2.2 million.

In addition to conducting independent Web research, project staff are also working with the World Wide Web Consortium’s Characterization Activity, a cross-industry group committed to the goal of promoting the Web’s evolution and ensuring its long-term interoperability and robustness.

For further information contact: OCLC, Inc., 6565 Frantz Road, Dublin, OH 43017-3395. Telephone: (800) 848-5878, (800) 848-8286 (in OH), or (614) 764-6000 (elsewhere). Fax: (614) 764-6096. Email: oclc@oclc.org URL: http://www.oclc.org In Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, contact the OCLC Europe office in Birmingham, England at +44 121-456-4656. Fax: +44 121-456-4680. Email: europe@oclc.org In Asia and the Pacific region, contact the OCLC Asia Pacific office in Dublin, Ohio at: (614) 764-6189. Email: asia_pacific_services@oclc.org In Canada, contact the OCLC Canada office in Montreal, Quebec at: (450) 658-6583 or toll-free at (888) 658-6583. Fax: (450) 658-6231. Email: canada@oclc.org In Latin America and the Caribbean contact the OCLC Latin America and Caribbean office in Dublin, Ohio at: (514) 761-5196. Fax: (614) 718-1026. Email: america-latina@oclc.org ead again

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