More than a 100 million registered domain names, according to Netcraft
According to Netcraft the internet has more than a 100 million websites. This news was brought to my attention by the newsbar in my gmail account, which let me to the Tweakers net website where google apparently found the news. I then googled (!) Netcraft and found the same news article there!
Now ofcourse it is very important to check what websites have been added to the list; just like blogs there is a huge cemetery of websites that were once started and then abandoned by its creator. And a lot of popular domain names have been registered by companies who want to sell that domain name to companies or just private people for a huge profit. Another example: I once registered the website www.heleenvanderklink.nl and used it for a while. When I stopped using it and canceled the hosting contract, the website provider kept the domain name, so if I wanted to use it again I would have to continue using their services. But when I wanted to make a new personal website, I rather used another hosting service, so instead of www.heleenvanderklink.nl I registered www.heleenvanderklink.com and the .nl name is now still available, but it only has a link to my old website host.
The above mentioned examples shows that there may be more than a 100 million registered domain names, but how many of them are actually active? According to the statistics that Netcraft lists on their website half of these website (almost 51 million of them) are active. Unfortunately it does not say how they have calculated these numbers and what prerequisites Netcraft has draught in order for a website to be active. My gut feeling tells me that the actual number of active websites is a lot lower percentage of the 100 million registered domain names than 50%.
However, I think it is hard to come up with the actual number of active websites, and even sending a survey to a number of websites may not be a sufficient way of trying to estimate the number of active website.
But perhaps someone can propose a method, anyone?