The internet never stands still, but a lot has happened this year.
The internet is the fastest-growing technology in history. In the last twenty-or-so years, it has revolutionized every aspect of our lives – from how we do business to how we communicate, watch media and shop.
Internet Website Statistics for 2020
Today, there are now more web pages than people in the world. Google indexes 56.5 billion web pages compared to an estimated global population of 7.8 billion.
And with each passing day, yet more sites, pages, images, text and video are added to the web (around 547,200 new sites were added per day through 2020).
2020 has been the year of the internet
Our use of the internet has been growing exponentially for many years, and the web has successfully infiltrated and transformed pretty much every part of modern life. However, this year more than ever, the internet became part of our social fabric.
The novel Coronavirus first emerged on a global scale in the early part of 2020, bringing entire nations to a standstill through distancing, isolation and lockdowns. Yet through the widespread panic of the virus, our internet technology stood firm and allowed us to continue living our lives.
With city streets deserted and interaction with others limited to only essential workers, populations turned in their droves to the web to maintain communications, keep doing their jobs and buy essential household items and groceries.
Our use of the internet skyrocketed through Coronavirus with a reported 51% increase in streaming services and 45% increase in the use of messaging apps. Indeed, it rather makes you wonder how life would have been this year without web technologies.
In 2020, search engines are still the primary driver of web traffic
In the absence of search engines, the web would be an unworkable, unindexed collection of disparate pages.
Without a doubt, the greatest driving force behind the growth of the internet has been the ability of the major search engines to make sense of the web – to make it referenceable and useable.
Google remains the world’s most-visited website processing an average of 3.5 billion search queries per day. Another form of search engine closely follows it – and another from the Google stable – YouTube.
However, while the big search engines account for the majority of generic traffic, these days smaller search engines are also contributing.
Modern searches have come a long way from just the all-purpose services like Google and Bing, and there are now specialist search engines for everything from electrical parts like Octopart.com to flights (e.g. Skyscanner.com) and accommodation (e.g. Booking.com). 2020 has seen an increase in the number of dedicated search engines on the web.
The number of websites through2020
Tim Berners-Lee switched on the first website on the 6th August 1991. One year later, there the number of websites globally had grown to ten – suffice to say, the web was a bit of a slow starter. However, fast forward to 2009, and that number had increased to an incredible 238 million websites globally.
In December 2019, there were an estimated 1.7 billion registered websites – although only 200 million of them were active and working.
The number of active websites vs inactive has been dropping for some time- possibly caused by the rise in social networks which, in some cases, have discouraged businesses from having a dedicated website.
While it’s extremely difficult to estimate exactly how many sites there are globally, one thing is for sure – the web continues to grow at an incredible rate.
Through 2020, it’s estimated we created 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day and, with more and more connected devices, this figure shows no signs of slowing.