Who doesn’t remember that blog he opened in the early 2000’s? Or that website he uploaded for a university job, or the institute? Well, many, many of those dead pages make up the bulk of the more than 1.7 billion websites that currently exist on the Internet, according to Internet Live Stats, a website that is updated in real time. But in fact, the vast majority of these websites are ‘dead’.
The Web is a space in the process of colonization, with empty or abandoned areas. Dead or outdated sites are lost cities, archaeological remains. They evoke times of splendour and can be reused. This terra incognita has no maps, it is found by chance. Some settlers have moved to new cyberspaces and left the old ones behind. The toys we loved as children ended up in the garbage. But what about the Internet? Only 5.5% of the 135 million blogs in existence were updated in the last six months. The Net has its ruins: blogs, forums or services abandoned by their creators.
In reality, they are inactive or have not been updated for years. Only 200 million websites are active, i.e. a meager 15%. Or in other words, 85% of internet pages are dead.
The growth of the internet has been spectacular. In 1992 there were only 10 (ten) active websites. In 1998 there were already 2.4 million and in 2000, 17.1 million. Then, vertigo: in 2014 the figure of 1,000 million web pages was reached. Since then, growth seems to have stagnated. In fact, in 2018 there was a decrease in the number of websites and with a further rise this year, the figure is for the 1.7 billion mentioned above.
For those who are almost archeologically curious, a website (entitled 404 Page Found) compiles inactive websites which, in some cases, are 26 years old.