Damn Lies and Statistics

I read recently that WordPress “powers” more than 14% of the top 1,000,000 Web sites. (“Powers” in quotes because actually it’s electricity that powers them — lots of electricity.)

This site is also a WordPress site, and I started to wonder: Am I in the top million? A million, is, after all, a very big number, and this site does get regular traffic.

Which all begs the question, how the hell do you define “top Web site” and how does anyone know what they are? Presumably “top” sites are the ones that get the most visits, but even “visit” is tricky to pin down, and once you have a working definition there’s still the question of how the heck you measure it. Throw in game sites where a visit can last for hours — does that count for more than someone dropping in to see if there’s a new episode up in their favorite blog?

How about traffic from robots? When a robot tries to spam this site, does that count? How would the counting mechanism differentiate that from a legitimate visit?

For that matter, what’s a “site”? Does wordpress.org count as a single site, or is each blog hosted there counted individually? Is the difference whether the owner bothered to register their own domain?

All that aside, the slightly-depressing truth is that this is probably not one of the top million sites, no matter how you figure it, even counting spam-bot visits. Yep, there are probably more than one friggin’ million Web sites more popular than this one. Most of those sites will have a specific purpose — sites for businesses both local and international, political and news sites, comics, and so on (and of course porn).

I have a hard enough time sticking to a single topic in a given episode that the idea of staying on a subject for the whole damn blog is ridiculous. But I digress.

Most content? I’d probably be in the top million in that category. There’s a lot of stuff here. Oldest still-active sites? I might even crack the million line with that measure. How many sites have been continuously active since 2003? That’s like, a century in Internet time.

So I probably get the top-million most persistent award, if nothing else. Maybe I should make that a tagline for the site when I un-Flash the banner: “One of the million most persistent Web sites in the world!”

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2 thoughts on “Damn Lies and Statistics

  1. While almost entirely content-free, I’d be surprised if it didn’t make the top 1M in continuously-operating sites:

    Domain Name: BUGGYSOFTWARE.COM
    Created on: 21-Apr-97

    I wonder how many people have tried to register that domain name in the interim?

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