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The Internet

Internet Growth in 2005 Sets Record 108

miller60 writes "Netcraft's Web Server Survey reports that a large gain in web sites in October makes 2005 the strongest year ever for Internet growth. The web has added 17.5 million sites so far this year, eclipsing the previous annual best of 16 million during the dot-com boom in 2000. And that's with two months left in the year. Is this growth for real? Web hosts targeting the small business market (like Yahoo Small Business and Go Daddy) report that business is booming, suggesting that web-wary local businesses are finally going online. But some of the the growth is likely due to domain name business models, with speculators buying large numbers of domain and placing advertising on them."
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Internet Growth in 2005 Sets Record

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  • by yagu ( 721525 ) * <> on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:00PM (#13733096) Journal

    If this is true, it means there is a site for approximately one site per every 350 people on the planet! Hmmmm, don't know if that's impressive or not. However, some criteria that would make it more clear to me what they're counting as web sites:

    • they claim these are responses from "sites" -- what is the question/query? Is it a spider?
    • does a blog represent a single site? If so, would that mean a couple of Google machines hosting 10,000 blogs would represent 10,000 sites?
    • are load balanced sites (e.g., corporations, et. al.) represented as one site? Or are they represented by the number of machines balancing the load? (If this is true, then you can figure Google's contribution to the site count to be well over 100,000 by now.)

    As in the blog universe I suspect a large number of these sites are not much in substance. Aside from my curiosity about the realness of this number I wonder what really can be gleaned from it. It is interesting to see the profile and trends of the technology serving the sites (most notably Apache vs. IIS/.NET).

    • does a blog represent a single site? If so, would that mean a couple of Google machines hosting 10,000 blogs would represent 10,000 sites?

      TFA says "Hostnames". I don't think a blog can be called a hostname.
    • by gunpowda ( 825571 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:09PM (#13733178)
      However, some criteria that would make it more clear to me what they're counting as web sites

      An older survey [] of theirs seems to contain the answer:

      The Netcraft Web Server Survey is a survey of Web Server software usage on Internet connected computers. We collect and collate as many hostnames providing an http service as we can find, and systematically poll each one with an HTTP request for the server name.

      So yeah, they're probably being quite lax about actual content.

    • Does it count and as two sites? Does it count as a website if it's just a webmail portal? What about two sites such as and As the post asks, how about landing/ad pages for domain speculation? Does it distinguish between and What if is a pointer to Does it record a difference between using host headers, a meta redirect, or server side redirect?

      My gue
    • spiders.txt? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nugas ( 836231 )
      I'd like to know--how many spiders.txt files do you have to ignore to come up with numbers like this?
      • You mean robots.txt?
        • You mean robots.txt?

          That's the one.

          How many?

          • Probably none. It's permitted to access robots.txt, and once you do you can figure there's a website there. No further investigation required.
            • It's permitted to access robots.txt, and once you do you can figure there's a website there.

              Can't you tell there's a web server there just by trying to open a TCP connection on port 80? If so, there's no need to download any files.

              In any case, I was figuring that Netcraft would use spiders to populate their Big List of Hostnames. One way to find out if there exists a hostname "" is to go to and spider that site for hostnames. That's where I was figuring someone might have ig

    • by joranbelar ( 567325 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @04:22PM (#13733746) Homepage
      If this is true, it means there is a site for approximately one site per every 350 people on the planet!

      Correction, it means we have added one site per 350 people this year. In total, we have about 12 websites for every person on the planet.

      • In total, we have about 12 websites for every person on the planet.

        74,409,971 / 12 = we have approximately 6,200,830 people on this planet :-) You probably meant to say we have about 12 websites for every 1000 people on the planet.

    • Cheap Drugs / Porn / Replica Watch SPAM websites change their domains every couple of days.
    • I think all of these factors will average out somewhat. If there are 10,000 blogs on Google's servers should they not each be considered an individual site. Even if they are light on content, they are still each unique and offer individual content.

      I'm sure a site for every 350 people is NOT an accurate evaluation. Many people have multiple blogs or multiple sites. Personally, I run several sites of my own and the company I work for currently has four unique sites. Each site is individual and fulfill
  • Wow! (Score:3, Funny)

    by cloudkj ( 685320 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:00PM (#13733097)
    Al Gore must be proud!
  • Netcraft confirms that Netcraft confirms that "Internet Growth in 2005 Sets Record"
  • I'm sure 99.9% of those are pr0n, sp4m, and (crap) blogs.

    • Yeah, I had trouble trying to get a domain to shorten my url down so I can ust it for mail. I would natually use, but hey, some big ISP took it, and their name is not even close to these letters. They are holding onto it for no reason other than to not let other people use it. Same with a bunch of domains that my friend wanted to use for his business. All of them taken and being held for money, spam, or nothing at all.
  • by This Old Chestnut ( 759273 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:03PM (#13733116)
    "You can shovel more shit on the pile, but in the end you still just have a pile of shit."

    - Martin Luther, circa 1542
  • by theantipop ( 803016 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:03PM (#13733117)
    Of the 17.5 million new sites, 17.3 million are blogs about the sad life of a suburban middle-class teenager.
  • by 00_NOP ( 559413 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:04PM (#13733123) Homepage
    Sure they are still gaining customers - in a market expanding this quickly you have be really bad not to do that.
    But apache is winning big style - I wonder how many of those apache boxes are being hosted on Linux or BSD?
  • by max99ted ( 192208 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:04PM (#13733130)
    ...strongest year for Interweb growth.
    • A few assumptions:
      - As web hosts increase, so does the number of emails to/from those hosts.
      - As P2P, gaming, instant messaging increase, so would the number of hosts about those activities. A good example is bittorrent. As more people use BT, more sites about BT are created.

      Based on those 2 assumptions, WWW is a good indicator of the Internet as a whole.

      That said, these studies are always a bunch of BS and don't really reflect anything useful.
      • You are right of course... I was just nitpicking on the article text. Although I might argue that WWW isn't necessarily a 'good' indicator.... especially (as others have pointed out) if the 'growth' is attributed mostly to blogs, and viagra ;)
  • by titaniam ( 635291 ) * <> on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:04PM (#13733133) Homepage Journal
    I download the zone files about once per month for my surf engine, and noticed that this month the .info zone file shrank by ~30%... Is this past month the anniversary (1-5 year) of the .info TLD setup (ie bulk pre-registrations expiring)? What happened to info for the number of domains to go from 3.7M to 2.7M in one month?
  • Not so impressive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Uukrul ( 835197 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:05PM (#13733141)
    The web has added 17.5 million sites so far this year
    Viagra: Results 1 - 10 of about 12,800,000 for viagra . (0.07 seconds)

    So 17.5 million - 12.8 viagra webs = 5.3 million

    Texas Hold'em up []: 3,720,000
    5.3 million - 3.7 Texas hold'em up = 1.6 million.

    So may be there are a lot of new webs, but if there are spam who cares?
  • Cost (Score:4, Insightful)

    by op12 ( 830015 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:08PM (#13733169) Homepage
    The price of domains has gotten so low, that it's not all that surprising that this is the case. I think godaddy's got domains at just $2 now. I think it was something like $8 just 2 years ago.
  • What's a site? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:08PM (#13733174) Journal
    If each blog is a "site", then that could explain a bit, considering that huge internet trend probably booming this year.

    If not, and it's e.g. a domain name, I personally find this a bit surprising. I thought the growth rate would decline a bit, and even recalling seeing such predictions just a few years ago.
  • OH NO!!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by M00NIE ( 605235 ) <> on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:12PM (#13733198)
    I better get out there and register before someone else does!!!!!!!
    • No rush, there are a heck of a lot of variations out there available still. Available Available Available Available Available Available

      Just think of all the money you will be raking in!
      • Whew, I can relax and know that I can get my domain before anyone steals my glorious scheme to get filthy rich hocking plastic replicas of left handed elvis impersonators. Everyone who sells junk on the internet gets rich right?
  • No duh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pudusplat ( 574705 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:13PM (#13733202)
    It only makes sense that the amount of sites right now is growing exponetially. Every year more people are connected to the web, more people spend more time on the web, and more money is derived from and therefore pumped into the web.

    Most human driven growth, in almost any field (print, television, power generation, population sizes) tneds to be exponential, driven by the population increase and the parallel growth of technology and information management.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:14PM (#13733214)
    17.4 million of them are on Cogent, so we can't get to them.
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:15PM (#13733226)
    I'd wager that a goodly number of the "active domains" are the random letter/word domains created by spammers to evade filters and blacklists. Because the cost of adding another domain is nearly $0, the statistic doesn't reflect as much new content creation as it might seem. Add to that the addition of new TLDs (and peopel buying their domain in multiple TLDs) and the practice of search sites slurping expiring domains to get traffic, and I wonder how much new content lies behind the increase number of "active domains".

    It would be interesting to analyze the number of domains per unique content set.

  • The pornography industry has posted record gains for the 10th straight year in a row.

    One analyst commented "The price of stocks are swelling rapidly. It's a wonder the engorged industry hasn't peaked. I've been waiting for things to deflate, but they just keep rising, straight as an arrow."
  • Daddy Beater (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 )
    Go Daddy spends its profits from your fees backing American torture [].
  • Is there a count of actual domain names somewhere?
  • The sites that prey on spelling mistakes and the like are just annoying ...

    Learn from my mistake, Dick's Sporting Goods is not
  • by modi123 ( 750470 )
    The UN/EU [] can have the stink'n internet if they want. Clearly from this article indicates the strangle hold the US has over the internet is stifling innovation, commerce, and the participation of a larger community. If one country controlling the DNS servers can do this poorly, then having a whole BUNCH of nations controlling it would increase the grandeur of the 'net. What would be fun if this broke down the increase in sites per country, sites still existing per country, and sites lost by country. Yup
    • I was thinking much the same thing. The EU is using scary talk to make people think that system is having some major problems, but the truth is the system works pretty well (in spite of Verisign.) Given the fact that any extended issues with DNS would cause an economic dislocation of Biblical proportions, the EU is taking a hell of a chance. Notice though, that in their documents they point out that there should be no changes in actual infrastructure, equipment or personnel ... they just want the authority
  • Wait until the UN takes over!!
  • I'm just glad that I haven't heard about Natalie Portman and hot grits for a while...
  • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Thursday October 06, 2005 @03:43PM (#13733435) Homepage Journal
    I think the main factor is likely to be that people are coming to expect that the little restaurant down the street will have their hours and phone number up on the web, and getting someone to put up a site with this info and enough matching design elements that people will know they're in the right place is becoming easy enough that people are doing it.

    I've certainly noticed an increase in my ability to find purely informational web sites owned by and about small brick-and-morter businesses, and it makes sense, as more people start to prefer the web over the phone, that this would give an advantage in terms of customers tending to show up when the business is open and feeling confident when leaving the house that the business will be open.
  • Yeah, the amount of email sent probably increased by quite a bit too - but, like email, how much is spam?

    By spam, I mean those pages set up just to catch Google searches, that have nothing to do with your search but just happen to have your exact search terms in their URL, for example.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well with the rate the spammer/scammer/moronic address staker ads companies,


    Nearly all the even-moderately popular sites have their pseudo-address-name ad sites.
  • The internet really is growing at an exponential rate! All those bad conference papers were true...
  • Netcraft is inaccurate as all get out. When things fall off the list, they don't come back no matter what you do. When things get on the list, the don't necessarily fall off the list. Basically it's an unpredictable service that only caters to the largest of hosting companies and ignores all of the rest with extreme prejudice.

    With that in mind, I place such small stock in ANYTHING that netcraft says. How can I do otherwise when sites that have been hosted by me for years never show up on netcraft, and s
  • It may be because of jerks like me: Domain names are so cheap that sometimes I register things like for no reason except that the domain is funny. One day I might put some content at all the domains I have.

    Did I mention that I own 'Cause I own!
  • I remember a few years ago reports that the number of websites were declining (around the time of the dotcom crash). Can this new record upsurge in webpages be the result of the new popularity of blogging?
  • damn bloggers !!!1!1
  • Are we talking about web SITES or web PAGES? A web site is a collection of pages, after all. It's hard for me to swallow that that many SITES were created in the past ten months. Pages, sure. I create a page when I add something to my blog. I don't add a site, though.
  • I wonder how many of these sites have more than porn or warez on them...? Or how many of these hostnames are set up for nasty purposes?


    There'd be something worth knowing... so I could shudder in fear every night for the rest of my life.

    (or shudder with the anticipation of warez...? )
  • ...and 75% of those web sites are "worthless" blogs full of people's crap about their mundane lives.
  • The "Earth" has already added nearly 100,000,000 "people" in 2005.
  • I am not sure whether the increase in domain names reflects real activity on the Internet. For example, I recently received a spam email from some guys claiming to be the official registrar for the .ws domain names. They had this cool video that presented a very compelling argument why I should reserve the domain. The argument went like this: "Nikolay, think how you would feel if someone else owned your name! Take it before it is gone!" I did not pay them a cent, because I hate spam, b
  • This unfortunately counts all the spam domains with ultra-long names like that all point to the same stupid server. It's not uncommon for true garbage servers to have hundreds if not thousands of domains pointed to the same machine, with funky scripting that adapts the content to the domain name AND the search terms (from the http Referer).

    Of those 17.5 million sites, how many actually have valid content on them ? Probably less than half a million, and I'm jus
  • I tell you, the Internet is where the money will come from. You'll be rich. Invest my friends!

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court