Over the past three long times, the web has grown at a mind-bending tempo.
In 1993, there were fewer than 200 web sites accessible on the World Extensive Net. Quick ahead to 2022, and that number has grown to 2 billion.
This animated graphic by James Eagle supplies a historic look at the evolution of the web, displaying the most well-liked web sites through the years from 1993 to 2022.
The 90s to Early 2000s: Dial-Up Web
It was attainable to go on the proto-internet as early as the Nineteen Seventies, however the extra user-centric and extensively accessible model we consider immediately didn’t actually materialize till the early Nineteen Nineties utilizing dial-up modems.
Dial-up gave customers entry to the net by means of a modem that was linked to a lively phone line. There have been a number of totally different portals within the Nineteen Nineties for web use, akin to Prodigy and CompuServe, however AOL rapidly grew to become the most well-liked.
AOL held its prime spot as essentially the most visited web site for practically a decade. By June 2000, the web portal was getting over 400 million month-to-month visits. For context, there have been about 413 million web customers all over the world at the moment.
Rank Web site Month-to-month Visits (Could 2000) 1 AOL 400,891,812 2 Yahoo 387,573,587 3 MSN 354,239,803 4 eBay 116,101,785 5 Lycos 116,064,930
However when broadband web hit the market and made dial-up out of date, AOL misplaced its footing, and a brand new website took the highest spot—Yahoo.
The Mid 2000s: Yahoo vs. Google
Based in 1994, Yahoo began off as an internet listing that was initially referred to as “Jerry and David’s Information to the World Extensive Net.”
When the corporation began to choose up steam, its title modified to Yahoo, which grew to become an acronym that stands for “But One other Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”
Yahoo grew quickly and by the early 2000s, it grew to become the most well-liked web site on the web. It held its prime spot for a number of years—by April 2004, Yahoo was receiving 5.6 billion month-to-month visits.
Rank Web site Month-to-month Visits (April 2004) 1 Yahoo 5,658,032,268 2 MSN 1,838,700,057 3 Google 1,318,276,780 4 AOL 905,009,947 5 eBay 805,474,705
However Google was shut on its heels. Based in 1998, Google began out as a less complicated and extra environment friendly search engine, and the web site rapidly gained traction.
Humorous enough, Google was truly Yahoo’s default search engine within the early 2000s till Yahoo dropped Google so it might use its personal search engine expertise in 2004.
For the following few years, Google and Yahoo competed fiercely, and each name took turns on the prime of the most well-liked websites checklist. Then, within the 2010s, Yahoo’s trajectory began to go south after a collection of missed alternatives and unsuccessful strikes.
This cemented Google’s place on the prime, and the web site continues to be the most well-liked web site as of January 2022.
The Late 2000s, Early 2010s: Social Media Enters the Chat
Whereas Google has held its spot on the prime for practically 20 years, its price highlights the emergence of social media platforms like YouTube and Fb.
YouTube and Fb actually weren’t the primary social media platforms to realize traction. MySpace had a profitable run again in 2007—at one level, it was the third hottest web site on the World Extensive Net.
Rank Web site Month-to-month Visits (Jan 2007) 1 Google 7,349,521,929 2 Yahoo 5,169,762,311 3 MySpace 1,276,515,128 4 MSN 1,259,467,102 5 eBay 957,928,554
However YouTube and Fb marked a brand new period for social media platforms, partly due to their impeccable timing. Each platform entered the scene across the identical time that smartphone improvements have been turning the cell phone business on its head. The iPhone’s design, and the introduction of the App retailer in 2008, made it simpler than ever to enter the web by way of your cellular system.
As of January 2022, YouTube and Fb are nonetheless the second and third most visited web sites on the web.
The 2020s: Google is Now Synonymous With the Web
Google is the main search engine by far, making up about 90% of all internet, cellular, and in-app searches.
What’s going to be the most well-liked website in a couple of years? Will Google proceed to carry the highest spot? There aren’t any indicators of the web slowing down anytime quickly, but when the historical past has taught us something, it’s that issues change. And nobody ought to get too comfy on the prime.