Google index release highlights web trends

Google has made a cut-down version of its 2001 search index available as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations - but for one month only.

The search giant said there were a number of technical reasons it was not able to make results available that date back to its birth in 1998, as well as every single web page indexed in 2001. But the Google 2001 index does contain some 1.3 billion web pages that highlight a number of trends in the growth of online content.

Search engine optimisation is the discipline that has seen the biggest growth, with Google search results growing from 12,300 in 2001 to 77.8 million today. This amounts to a massive increase of 632,520 per cent, according to analysis by user experience consultancy Webcredible.

Also among the results from Google's oldest readily accessible search index, usability and accessibility have increased by 5,572 per cent (from 481,000 results to 26.8 million) and 8,307 per cent (1 million to 83.9 million) respectively, with search results for social media, online marketing and email marketing all showing a growth of well over 1,000 per cent.

Trenton Moss, Webcredible director, said: "The rise in importance of websites and online marketing over the past seven years is already well known, but Google's launch of its 2001 search index goes to really show the extent of this."

He said the sheer volume of growth in results returned on a search for these terms proved their related disciplines of online user experience, search and social media were now crucial elements of establishing a successful online channel with which to reach customers and prospects.

Compared to the more than eight billion web pages Google has indexed today, a cursory search of the 2001 index also highlights the issue of historical access to the web, where many pages were no longer live.

Even with initiatives like Internet Archive up and running, a lack of forethought on the part of site publishers when it comes to archiving could mean large parts of historical online content could be lost forever.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.