Tech

The World Wide Web Turns 25: We’ve Got 25 Fast Facts You Need to Know

6. Google Was the Most-Visited Site in 2013

Marketingland reports that Google was the most-visited site on the web in 2013. However, it took a long time for Google to become top dog in the search engine world.

A look back at Top 10 lists of most-visted sites from 2003 and 2006 shows sites like Myspace and AOL ahead of Google. Sites like Go, Pogo, and Netscape all appeared on those lists, despite not being very popular today.


7. The Web Is Still Mainly in English

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According to recent figures on W3Techs, about 55.5% of all webpages are written in English. This is down from 56.4% in 2002.

This might change in the coming years, however. SEO expert Alexandru Rotaru notes that other languages are growing more popular online.

He writes:

“…the growth in English usage online stands at just over 281% over the past decade – far less than Spanish (743%), Chinese (1,277%), Russian (1,826%) or Arabic (showing a massive growth of 2,501% over the same period).

There are many social, economic and technological factors that may affect the incidence of internet usage within certain territories but, should these trends continue, the proportion of English speaking internet users will naturally fall further. With internet penetration standing at 33% in Chinese and 37% in Spanish speaking markets (as opposed to 42% in English) there is also still a lot of scope for this potential growth in foreign language markets to continue.”


8. The Web Changed the Way English Is Spoken

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Between new tech companies, funny memes, and an increased focus on online activity, the English language has changed dramatically in the past 25 years. The web introduced millions of English speakers to words like email, phishing, noob, griefer, blog, cyberbully, and “unfriend.”

But it’s not just the addition of hundreds of new Internet-related words that have changed how English is spoken. The very culture of the web, with all it’s awkwardly phrased memes and grammatically incorrect phrasing, has actually affected the grammar people use when speaking aloud, as well as when they write.

The Atlantic ran an interesting article last year that argued the Internet was to blame for the word “because” transitioning from a conjunction to a preposition.


9. The Internet Changed Our Brains…But Not For the Better

The Bloomberg video above discusses how the FCC is pushing high-speed Internet speeds to students, along with some other top headlines.

A Columbia University researcher has discovered that living in “The Age of Google” is actually changing the way our brains work…and not necessarily for the better.

“Since the advent of search engines, we are reorganizing the way we remember things,” says researcher Betsy Sparrow. “Our brains rely on the Internet for memory in much the same way they rely on the memory of a friend, family member or co-worker. We remember less through knowing information itself than by knowing where the information can be found.”

In other words, we no longer need to remember the state capital of Arkansas, because our brains know we can look that information up at any time from our computers or smartphones.


10. The Web Changed the Path to Superstardom

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CNN argues that the web changed how ordinary people could become famous. CNN argues that today’s mega-stars like Kate Upton and Justin Beiber owe their fame to their web presence.

The web also created a new kind of celeb, the “Internet-famous.” This class of person isn’t famous in a mainstream way, but is beloved by a group of fervent online fans. Examples of “Internet-famous” people might include Tron Guy or Chocolate Rain.


On the next page, learn about online shopping and the very first web browser…

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