If you're an intrepid Web explorer intent on visiting every corner of the Internet, you have your work cut out for you: As of this month, there are now 100 million-plus Web sites out there, and the number continues to increase rapidly.
That announcement comes from Netcraft's November 2006 Web Server Survey. "The 100 million site milestone caps an extraordinary year in which the Internet has already added 27.4 million sites, easily topping the previous full-year growth record of 17 million from 2005," according to the report.
"The Internet has doubled in size since May 2004, when the survey hit 50 million," it adds.
Driving the surge in Web destinations is the explosive growth of blogs and SMB Web sites, the report says.
Among Web servers in use, Apache tops the list with 60.3% market share. Microsoft comes in second with 31%, followed by Sun with 1.7% and Zeus with 0.5%.
Now, I would very much like to provide a link to each and every one of those 100 million-plus Web sites, out of fairness, but that's just not feasible. So here's a list of sites that have earned one type of distinction or another.
info.cern.ch - Site of the first Web site, put online on August 6, 1991. It provided an explanation about what the World Wide Web was, how one could own a browser, and how to set up a Web server. It was also the world's first Web directory. Here's an archive of that first site.
Yahoo.com - Currently the most popular Web site in the world, according to Alexa. MSN.com and Google.com follow. You can also view the most popular Web sites by country. In China, the No. 1 site is baidu.com. Want to know how Alexa comes up with its rankings? Go here.
www.dokimos.org/ajff - A couple thousand folks at digg.com seem to agree that this is the most annoying Web site in the world. Click with care. Personally, I don't know that it's the worst, but it's pretty bad. And that has nothing to do with the religious message, OK? It's the seizure-inducing background.
maddox.xmission.com - The "Best Page in the Universe," according to its creator. I am not certain what criteria he used.
Also, here's Time's 50 Coolest Web Sites of 2006, PC Magazine's Top 101 Classic Web Sites of 2006, and the 2006 Webby Award nominees and winners. Given how many Web sites there are out there, all the people behind these sites should be proud.
What are some of your favorite, and least favorite, Web sites?