How Big Is the Internet? Intriguing Facts for Website Owners

How Big Is the Internet?
Intriguing Facts for Website Owners

If you run a website, you’ll already be aware of how hard it is to stand out from the crowd. These days, it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to attract visitors to a website, mainly due to the amount of competition that already exists online.

We all realize the huge impact the internet has made on our lives, but just how big is the web itself? In truth, it’s almost an impossible question to answer since the amount of information online grows by the second. However, there are some intriguing pointers we can use to at least guesstimate the size of the web.
A Brief History of The Internet – From Then till Now

Since its inception in 1989 by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, the internet has grown to become the most comprehensive informational tool in history. Indeed, the web is so powerful that many believe it is causing a fourth great industrial revolution.

The internet has become central to all our lives as a vehicle for entertainment, commerce, communication and information. Still, many experts argue we are just in the very early stages of realizing its true potential. Certainly, the recent development of the Internet of Things (IoT) would suggest this.

The IoT is essentially a network of smart devices connected over the internet capable of generating, processing and interpreting data to make autonomous decisions. It promises a genuinely intriguing future. However, the IoT is also adding considerable extra data to the web every day, increasing our understanding of the world around us and generating vast amounts of information.

The Number of Websites in The World – An Estimate

The number keeps changing by the second; however, in January 2020, it was estimated there were a staggering 1.3 billion websites online. While this figure is impressive, it is still lower than 1.5 billion sites online in January 2019. Even as you read this, the number will be changing, so accurate figures are hard to determine.

This exponential growth in websites has resulted in the emergence of a whole new area of web development – Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the practice of promoting websites to the top of the search engines to generate site visitors.

As search engines are the primary way users find information online, appearing at the top is essential if you’re to attract visitors to your site. Check the website for more tips and information about the beneficial effects of SEO.

The Amount of Data Online

Of all the figures, the amount of data online is the hardest to estimate. Given we are all constantly adding information in the form of pictures, video, text, posts, blogs, etc., it’s almost impossible to predict with any accuracy exactly how much data exists online.

However, what is easier to assess is the amount of internet traffic – currently estimated at around two zettabytes per year. For reference, a zettabyte is an incredible two billion-billion bytes.

How Many Web Users Are There?

According to the latest statistics, there are an estimated 3.6 billion internet users globally – just over half the world’s population. Of these, China has by far the greatest concentration at 1 billion users – or just over one quarter. So, in terms of a market, the userbase exists at least. You just need to find ways to tap into it.

As a site owner, attracting more hits should be your number one consideration. While it’s clear to see there is an audience out there (half the world in fact!), the astounding number of existing sites makes marketing online tricky. Unfortunately, if current trends continue, finding ways to get visitors to your pages will only get more challenging in the future.