To search the internet Google must first be able to index it a process that involves continuous updates. The first Google index to be announced in 1998 estimated that the Internet already had 26 million pages.
It took two years until the Google index passed the one billion mark. Since then we’ve seen a lot of big numbers about how much content is really out there. The official Google blog announced in July 2008 that their own search engineers stopped in awe when they discovered that their systems that process links on the web to find new content hit a new milestone: one trillion (or in digits 1,000,000,000,000) unique pages. The number of individual web pages is still growing by several billion pages per day.
One aspect of the rapid growth of user generated content and the recognition of the importance of this content being linked to lots of other related content is that the web is becoming increasingly crowded, congested and complicated. The explosion in the range and volume of content is matched by an inverse relationship with the average level of importance and impact of a single web page.
As PR people we need to understand this. Just because something appears on the web doesn’t mean that anyone sees it. Hello, is there anyone there?