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The Internet since 1998 in Numbers

Here’s how the number of websites developed since 1998:

internetwebsites

In 1998 there were about 2.4 million websites. This grew to 17.1 million at the turn of the millennium. In 2007 the Internet cracked the 100 million mark and soon after, in 2009, the 200 million mark. 2012 saw a sudden jump to about 700 million websites. 2010 and 2013 were the only years in which the number of sites declined.

internetusers

The number of users has been steadily increasing at a rate of about 170 million per year. It went from 188 million (3 % of the world population) in 1998 to 2760 million (40 % of the world population) in 2013. A mathematical trend analysis shows that we can expect the 4000 million mark to be cracked in 2017 and the 5000 million mark in 2020.

Very interesting in terms of competition among websites is the ratio of users to websites:

internetratio

Before 2000 it was relatively easy to draw a large number of visitors to a website. But then the situation drastically changed. The number of users per website dropped from about 88 to 24 and kept on decreasing. Today there are only 4 internet users per website, a tough market for website owners.

Some more numbers: in 1998 there were about 10,000 search queries on Google per day, this grew 1,200,000,000,000 (or 1.2 trillion) per day in 2012. Since Google controls roughly 65 % of the search engine market, the total number of queries per day should be around 1.8 trillion.

All the data is taken from this neat website: Internet Live Stats.

For more Internet analysis check out my post Average Size of Web Pages plus Prediction.

Mathematics of Blog Traffic: Model and Tips for High Traffic

Over the last few days I finally did what I long had planned and worked out a mathematical model for blog traffic. Here are the results. First we’ll take a look at the most general form and then use it to derive a practical, easily applicable formula.

We need some quantities as inputs. The time (in days), starting from the first blog entry, is denoted by t. We number the blog posts with the variable k. So k = 1 refers to the first post published, k = 2 to the second, etc … We’ll refer to the day on which entry k is published by t(k).

The initial number of visits entry k draws from the feed is symbolized by i(k), the average number of views per day entry k draws from search engines by s(k). Assuming that the number of feed views declines exponentially for each article with a factor b (my observations put the value for this at around 0.4 – 0.6), this is the number of views V the blog receives on day t:

V(t) = Σ[k] ( s(k) + i(k) · bt – t(k))

Σ[k] means that we sum over all k. This is the most general form. For it to be of any practical use, we need to make simplifying assumptions. We assume that the entries are published at a constant frequency f (entries per day) and that each article has the same popularity, that is:

i(k) = i = const.
s(k) = s = const.

After a long calculation you can arrive at this formula. It provides the expected number of daily views given that the above assumptions hold true and that the blog consists of n entries in total:

V = s · n + i / ( 1 – b1/f )

Note that according to this formula, blog traffic increases linearly with the number of entries published. Let’s apply the formula. Assume we publish articles at a frequency f = 1 per day and they draw i = 5 views on the first day from the feed and s = 0.1 views per day from search engines. With b = 0.5, this leads to:

V = 0.1 · n + 10

So once we gathered n = 20 entries with this setup, we can expect V = 12 views per day, at n = 40 entries this grows to V = 14 views per day, etc … The theoretical growth of this blog with number of entries is shown below:

viewsentries

How does the frequency at which entries are being published affect the number of views? You can see this dependency in the graph below (I set n = 40):

viewsfrequency

The formula is very clear about what to do for higher traffic: get more attention in the feed (good titles, good tagging and a large number of followers all lead to high i and possibly reduced b), optimize the entries for search engines (high s), publish at high frequency (obviously high f) and do this for a long time (high n).

We’ll draw two more conclusions. As you can see the formula neatly separates the search engine traffic (left term) and feed traffic (right term). And while the feed traffic reaches a constant level after a while of constant publishing, it is the search engine traffic that keeps on growing. At a critical number of entries N, the search engine traffic will overtake the feed traffic:

N = i / ( s · ( 1 – b1/f ) )

In the above blog setup, this happens at N = 100 entries. At this point both the search engines as well as the feed will provide 10 views per day.

Here’s one more conclusion: the daily increase in the average number of views is just the product of the daily search engine views per entry s and the publishing frequency f:

V / t = s · f

Thus, our example blog will experience an increase of 0.1 · 1 = 0.1 views per day or 1 additional view per 10 days. If we publish entries at twice the frequency, the blog would grow with 0.1 · 2 = 0.2 views per day or 1 additional view every 5 days.

Article Marketing Myths And Facts

By now everyone has heard of article marketing and so many people out define it in so many different ways there that it has become hard for people new to article marketing to understand.

In general, article marketing is where you write an article on a topic that is related to your website topic. Not a promotional article for your website, but an article about something that is informative to the reader. In the article you use keywords and phrases that relate to your topic as well, much like you would optimize a webpage. Your article when reprinted will be the text of a webpage or webpages.

In the author bio section at the bottom is some info about you and links to your website. It is suggested that you put in one link to your main page and one to an interior page that fits the article you are writing.

If your article is submitted to websites that take article submissions and offers free content to webmasters, then webmasters choose to repost your article on their websites, the links in the author bio section become links from their websites to your website.

Now lets go on to the myths and facts about article marketing.

MYTH: Article marketing doesn’t really help you all that much.

FACT: Article Marketing can help you increase your link popularity and be a source of some of the most targeted traffic you can get.

MYTH: Reprinted Articles only get indexed as supplemental pages, therefore it doesn’t help enough to make it worthwhile.

FACT: Depending on where the article gets submitted to, the article itself can get a top 10 listing in major search engines and not as a supplemental page.

MYTH: Submitting your article everywhere creates duplicate content and the search engines will punish or discount those pages as a result.

FACT: If search engines punished duplicate content in the way that myth suggests then all rss feeds that cause a post in a blog to be reproduced to be discounted or published and they are not. The New York Times articles and CNN stuff is blasted all over the web and are not punished or discounted.

Duplicate content is two webpages that are around 70% similar, not two webpages that have similar text on them.

MYTH: The only way article marketing works is you write an article then submit it to thousands of article submission websites.

FACT: There is more than one way to make article marketing work for you. The way mentioned above works okay if you are looking to get a lot of links back to your website whether they are related or not and can be effective if you currently have very little or no link popularity at all.

Another way is to hand submit your article to article submission websites that only accept articles related to your topic. This is more difficult but the links help you more just through the submissions and it’s more likely that the websites that pick up and repost your article will be also related to your topic which can help you with better links and targeted traffic.

Yet another way is to write a very high quality article that you really take your time on and research. You then choose a very high traffic website related to your topic. One that has great PR and a lot of visitors.

Email them your article and offer them an exclusive if they will print your article with your links included in the bio. If your article is of good quality and they get an exclusive you have a good chance they will post your article there.

This one posting of your article can be more powerful than the mass submitted article method if you choose the website you submit it to carefully.

Last but not least, posting your article exclusively on your own website is a great way to add fresh content and if the article is good, people will link directly to the article increasing both traffic and PR for your webpage where you posted the article. But for this to work you need to already have some traffic to work with.

MYTH: You should always post your article in your website first, then wait to get crawled by the search engines before submitting the article elsewhere.

FACT: Adding articles to your own website is called adding content. Submitting those articles to other websites is called article marketing. With article marketing you don’t want the article indexed on your website first.

Yes you read that right. You do not want the article indexed on your website first. You are or should already be doing SEO on your website and adding fresh content to your website for the search engines to get traffic from them.

Submitting articles to other websites and having the search engines find it there first gives another gateway that people can find your website through.

If the websites that you submitted your articles to get crawled often, then having your article appear there with the links intact will get your website crawled as well.

If the websites you submitted your article to are getting indexed well by the search engines, then your article being found on their website first might get it in the top 10 results.

Placing it into your own website with no or low PR might not have gotten the article indexed at all.

I hope this article will clear up some of the myths about article marketing and that it has helped you understand how and why it works.