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Web growth peaked in 2007 but might be back with a vengeance in 2009

The Internet keeps getting larger and more widespread, and the number of websites just keeps growing. But if you take a closer look at those numbers, you will find something interesting: If you look at year-by-year growth, it peaked in 2007.

This doesn’t mean that the Web isn’t getting any bigger. It just means that the yearly growth has slowed down, at least temporarily.

If you look at the growth during 2008, it turns out that not only was it significantly slower than it was in 2007, it was also slower than in 2006. You have to go back to 2005 to find a year with less growth than 2008.

However, it looks like 2009 might have a few surprises in store for us.

Will Web growth be back with a vengeance in 2009?

At the beginning of 2009, the Internet had 185.5 million websites. In April 2009, that number had shot up to a whopping 231.5 million websites, an increase by 46 million in just a few months. Note that this almost matches the entire year’s growth in 2007.

Much of this recent increase is according to Netcraft due to websites served by the QZone blogging service (a huge Chinese social network, and we mean huge).

The question is if this is a temporary boost, or if 2009 will prove to be a breakout year when it comes to Web growth.

Let us know what you think about all this. It’s an interesting subject to discuss.

About the survey: We gathered data from Netcraft’s web server survey archives, calculating yearly growth based on the month by month numbers that Netcraft provides.

Chris - High End Web Design
Chris - High End Web Design

I'm not really sure the above chart or analysis gives enough information to "prove" whether a current year will be a "breakout year" or not. What I think we will see is, if not a growth in the number of websites, then certainly a continued trend for better quality content on existing websites-- better content, better coding, better designs, better 'best practices,' etc., or else your site is doomed to be noise. Interesting topic, though.


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