A ‘one’ and 12 zeroes

Google says it has bookmarked one trillion web pages or at least a trillion individual URLs. That’s believable. In 2000, the search index had indexed one billion pages.

The story is kind of interesting, but there is a meme going around that the web (or the Internet if you prefer) is “not as big as the universe”.

Interesting analogy. Neither the universe nor the web is fully mapped, or even fully visible. Both are expanding at a rapid rate, almost certainly faster every time we look.

Of course you don’t want to carry analogies too far. We think there are about 70 sextillion stars for example, a one followed by 22 zeroes. In a philosophical way, though, the Internet is an Earth-bound universe, whose ultimate size and measurement is effectively infinite from our current knowledge.

A trillion individual known, discovered URLs. That is quite a lot:


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