68 million web sites and counting …

July 4, 2005 There was a time when a dozen radio stations and half a dozen television stations seemed too much choice but things are changing rapidly. The internet is in only its eleventh year of commercial activity, yet it has already had a boom, a crash and now a second coming. What is now very clear is that every business in the world will eventually find its way onto the internet and looking at the latest statistics, that might not take long to happen. Netcraft’s monthly internet hostname survey for the month of June indicates 2.76 million domains were registered, bringing the number of active domains on the internet to 67,571,581 sites. The only larger gain was a 3.3 million hostname increase in March 2003, which ended months of stagnation and kicked off 30 consecutive months of positive growth for the Web. Interestingly, the number of people using the internet globally is still less than a billion.

NetCraft attributes the dramatic growth to a number of factors, the most obvious being the growth in the number of internet commercial presences as web sites and online storefronts become more affordable.

The explosive growth of weblogs is also seen as a major factor as well as a heating of the market for domain names as speculators again register domains in the hope of cashing in. there has been a significant rise in the resale prices of domain names and the ability to generate revenue via pay-per-click advertising on parked domains.

Strong sales of online advertising, especially keyword-based contextual ads that support business models for both domain parking and commercial weblogs.

The Internet has added 10.7 million hostnames in the first seven months of the year. Barring a dramatic slowdown, 2005 should easily exceed the record growth of 16 million hostnames in 2000. the chart accompanying this article is sourced from Netcraft's statistical resources.

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