Data viz video of the most visited websites from 1996 to 2019

Originally published at:


Interesting that I for the most part stopped using FB early 2015. In the dataviz that is exactly when their numbers started to drop. I didn’t quit due to any anti-FB movement or particular FB fuck-up. At least not that I recall. But that is when I realized it was unhealthy for me and while everyone I knew seemed fine with it, I needed to stop.


That was beautiful, and surprising.

I had no idea that Yahoo had held on for so long. Or that it regained first place after losing it. Google had dominant market share in search amongst people I knew in about 2000.

It also shows that FB is in the early part of the downward slope of the curve- it’s losing out, and there’s only so much Instagram can do to plug the gap.


A line graph would have the same information in an even more meaningful format and not taken 8 minutes of my time.


I did the same thing. New job, got super busy, was still wasting time on FB, finally realized I was being an idiot, and cut the cord. Except I’m 4 years behind you… I only cut it in April this year. :weary:

And now, I waste my time on bb bbs and motion bar charts that could be one stop line charts. :weary::weary:


To be fair I wasn’t being a future visionary. I just hit the wall sooner than some. At the time I didn’t feel empowered for leaving. Just lame for the lack of self control the necessitated me leaving.


True that.


I’m surprised how brief Altavista’s run was. It seemed much more important in the day, or perhaps I was internetting wrong.


Altavista was the bomb, man. That was some crazy voodoo when it first came out. Before that you had to rely on web rings and links from friends to find stuff! (Shudder)


Same here. I remember switching from Altavista to Google, with nothing of note in between (hotbot and askjeeves didn’t quite cut it). Was Altavista just for nerds, with the actually-quite-clean masses sticking with AOL and Yahoo?


Go *ornhub!


Geez, I had to search for *ornhub to figure out what it was. I’m so clueless.

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I didn’t realise what site *videos was until *ornhub showed up.


Christ, Facebook comes in like a freakin’ wrecking ball, doesn’t it, shooting up that chart faster than poor old Webcrawler dropped out of it a decade earlier… horrible.

ETA two more thoughts:

  1. I’d like to see a running total of visits to ALL sites on the chart aggregated on there too, so we can watch how overall traffic to the top sites rose over that timespan.
  2. What exactly are the figures for “Google”? Just the various tld search pages? If so, does that include searches done from browser location bars? If not, does it include Google+ and Gmail and ad infinitum (I suspect not, as Youtube is listed separately).
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…and I don’t think they’ll be able to buy TikTok…

Interesting to see American Greetings as a player in the early days, Grandmoms are early adopters! I wonder what their site offered, but I don’t wonder hard enough to Wayback it.


If I remember my early web history correctly, they did so well by buying over one of the early really popular websites- blue mountain dot com. An internet community set up around sending e-cards was one of the world’s hottest websites for a while back then.


I spent a fair amount of time going deep into the AltaVista query language to get good results. Then Google just brushed all that nerdy stuff aside.


When pornhub beat out Amazon near the end there, I gotta admit I squealed with joy. Faith in humanity restored.


they changed a lot until about 2010 and haven’t really changed so much since then