How Many Websites Are There?

Most webpages die after a couple of months. The average lifespan is something like 100 days. That’s longer than it used to be. In the late 1990s, the typical webpage lasted for around 44 days.But quantifying pieces and pages of the web gets murky pretty quickly. For one thing, finding a reliably representative sample of links for this kind of analysis is tricky if not impossible. There’s also a sort of existential question, as Mike Ashenfelder wrote for the Library of Congress in 2011: “That is to say, we take for granted that we know what it means that a webpage has ‘died.'”

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