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A Study on the Evolution of the Web

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Executive Summary

The authors seek to gain improved insight into how Web search engines should cope with the evolving Web, in an attempt to provide users with the most up-to-date results possible. For this purpose they collected weekly snapshots of some 150 Web sites over the course of one year, and measured the evolution of content and link structure. The authors' measurements focus on aspects of potential interest to search engine designers: the evolution of link structure over time and the rate of creation of new pages on the Web. Their findings indicate a rapid turnover rate of Web pages, i.e., high rates of birth and death, coupled with an even higher rate of turnover in the hyperlinks that connect them.

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