According to Hungarian physicist Albert-László Barabási, not only are there an estimated 14 billion individual webpages on the Internet, but reportedly, much like the Kevin Bacon Search Tool, "from every single one of these pages you can navigate to any other in 19 clicks or less."
Distributed across the entire web, though, are a minority of pages -- search engines, indexes and aggregators -- that are very highly connected and can be used to move from area of the web to another. These nodes serve as the "Kevin Bacons" of the web, allowing users to navigate from most areas to most others in less than 19 clicks.
Barabási credits this "small world" of the web to human nature -- the fact that we tend to group into communities, whether in real life or the virtual world. The pages of the web aren't linked randomly, he says: They're organized in an interconnected hierarchy of organizational themes, including region, country and subject area.
Interestingly, this means that no matter how large the web grows, the same interconnectedness will rule. Barabási analyzed the network looking at a variety of levels -- examining anywhere from a tiny slice to the full 1 trillion documents -- and found that regardless of scale, the same 19-click-or-less rule applied.
|Why You See Upworthy-Style Headlines Everywhere|
|You Can Buy a Gun on Facebook in 15 Minutes|
|Deprived of Facebook, Man Sues for $500K|
|Remember the Internet?|
|My New Motto|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“This 160-step biochemical process is very well studied, and surprisingly inefficient.”|
|“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|
|“Within 30 years, half of humanity won't have a job. It could get ugly — there could be a revolution.”|
|Defacing Street Signs Can Send Self-Driving Cars Crashing|
|“After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented.”|
|Facebook, Twitter Users Could Face Insurance Hikes|