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The internet evolution: A decade of disappearing giants

The internet has changed a lot in the last ten years, and it’s quite different now from what it used to be.

social media marketing apps on smartphone have changed the game
Image: Unsplash

The internet has been changing too fast. What it looked like ten years ago is nothing compared to what it is today. 

A2 Hosting’s infographic on the most visited websites since 1995 visualizes these changes very well. Here are a few highlights:

  • None of the most visited websites from 1995 is in the top 10 anymore (except for Yahoo!). Talk about pioneers! It’s fascinating to see how the internet has evolved over the years, leaving behind early trailblazers in favor of newer innovations.
  • The fact that Yahoo! has been in the top 10 since the beginning of the internet is somewhat of a revelation. Why does no one talk about this enough? This sounds like a big deal! Yahoo!’s enduring presence speaks volumes about its resilience in the ever-changing online reality.
  • The two local brands in the top ten are Yandex (Russian) and Baidu (Chinese). The list’s global diversity, showcasing the influence of regional players alongside multinational giants, is intriguing.
  • Google has been #1 since 2011, asserting its dominance over the web for over a decade. The consistency of Google’s position showcases its significance in the world.
  • Youtube (Google’s property) has been #2 since 2018. This means that Google has held the top two spots for five years now. This is amazing. One single company has been owning the web for five years.
  • MySpace had a short but crazy run. It appeared from nowhere as #9, jumped to #4 the following year, held the spot for one more year, jumped back to #8, and disappeared. Got to admire the rollercoaster. MySpace’s journey reflects the volatile nature of the internet, where rapid rises and falls happen every month.
  • Pornhub had only one year of fame. Is one site possibly rising to #4 out of nowhere and then disappearing again? What happened in 2022? The fleeting success of Pornhub raises questions about the factors driving sudden shifts in online popularity and the potential impact of external factors on digital platforms.
  • I cannot believe Amazon has never been in the top 3. I guess that’s because it is only the default shopping solution in the USA. Amazon’s lower-than-expected ranking highlights the varied factors influencing website traffic on a global scale.
  • I have the same thoughts about Wikipedia. It has never risen above position #5! Wikipedia’s consistent but relatively modest ranking underscores the unique role of the platform as a valuable knowledge resource rather than a mainstream entertainment destination.
A2 Hosting graph showing most visited website.
Image: A2 Hosting

Overall, this infographic makes me want to research what happened to some of these sites and why they disappeared.

There is also another angle to this. It is a pretty graph to look at. But how many people lost jobs due to these drops? I imagine even dropping one position is a huge loss for any company.

Traffic is easy to become addicted to for any company, big or small. Imagine that year for Facebook when they dropped from #2 to #3.

I’ve seen my share of digital companies lose trading and have to make major layoffs. This is never fun. 

The infographic’s visual representation sparks contemplation on the human impact behind the statistics, highlighting the real-world consequences of fluctuating online popularity on livelihoods and industries.

It always blows my mind that giants can go down within a matter of a few months or disappear completely.

I know nothing lasts forever, but this is a bit unbelievable when you are #1 and suddenly nowhere at all.

This is a great reminder of the unpredictable nature of technological advancement we’ve witnessed for over three decades.

Also, I feel a bit of a fan of Yahoo! after this graph. I think they are underestimated in the press and overall. No one could do what they did, it appears!

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Daniel Cid is a multi-talented Graphic Designer, video creator, and editorial assistant. When he's not immersed in design projects, he enjoys hiking and Xbox gaming. Daniel is a Graphic Designer with a B.A.

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