How much is a web page worth?

How much is a webpage worth?

First, some data

There are several estimates for the current size of the internet. These estimates range from about 12 billion indexable pages in early 2005 (that is, pages which can be indexed and not accessed through queries, logins, etc., not all of which are actually indexed by Google and their less efficient competitors) to as much as 25 billion pages indexed just by google (in late 2005). For the sake of simplicity, let us take 20 billion pages as a typical number.

The estimated amount of money spend on advertisement on the web also varies from estimate to estimate. Moreover, many estimates pertain to ads in american internet only (americans often mistake the national for global and vice versa, e.g., the World series in baseball). This could explain the factor two difference from low estimates of order $8 billion per year to $18 billion per year. A quick browse at the main advertisers responsible for the first figure reveals only american companies, \$8 billion is indeed the american value. Thus, \$18 Billion is a good estimate for the amount of money spend on online ads. This may sound like a very high number, but relative to the amount of content, it isn't!

This number, however, includes all types of online advertisements. For example, payed searches obviously don't increase the average worth of web pages, nor do classified ads. A quick search reveals that at least in the US, banners make up 20% of the revenue (40% goes to search engines, no wonder google is doing so great!).

Average value of a single indexable webpage

The above numbers imply that about a webpage should earn its owner a staggering 20% * \$18 billion / 20 billion pages = 18cents per year per page. This is of course an average number. Many websites don't have any advertisements, while other, like, could be making a fortune in advertisements.

Average value of a single domain

O.k., so one web page is not worth a lot, at least on average, and since we don't know how many pages are not worth at all, lets look at something else, at the average value of a domain. According to this statistic, there are somewhat more than 50,000,000 .com domains. Given that the number of USA IP's is more than half of the number in the world, there are probably around 100,000,000 domains globally. Certainly, the number cannot be much higher than that. This means that every domain earns on average, 20% * \$18 billion / 100 million domains = \$36 per year per domain, still not much, not even enough to cover the average cost of hosting a domain.