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"The typical site in the publications e-commerce category has about 2 millionths the number of inlinks that Amazon.com has. It is interesting to compare the competition between online businesses to that of offline businesses - the largest market share online (for Amazon) is much greater than the largest market share offline."
Anything between these two extremes is a very slippery slope.
You can use this research to argue that the practice of ranking sites by counting incoming links, a practice that began only a few years ago, is fundamentally altering the nature of the Web.
This new Web is one of the reasons for the popularity of the weblogs -- it's the only way for the little guy to participate. It used to be that you felt like you were participating by putting up your own Web page. This is no longer true, because a new Web page from an average person no longer draws traffic. No traffic means no feedback, and no sense of participation.
More research like this will encourage search engines to develop algorithms that do less damage to the Web, one would hope.
This new Web is one of the reasons for the popularity of the weblogs -- it's the only way for the little guy to participate. It used to be that you felt like you were participating by putting up your own Web page. This is no longer true, because a new Web page from an average person no longer draws traffic.
Maybe, but the Web is much more useful to a far greater number of people today than it was in the early 1990s, when you could become world-famous (among technophiles, anyway) by aiming a Webcam at your desk or your break room's coffee machine.
As for the NEC study, it's important to remember that it dealt with e-commerce, not the Web as a whole. That 99% figure for "publications" refers to e-commerce sites that *sell* publications (e.g., books), not to online publications or "content sites." If you're talking about media, not merchants, you'll find a lot more diversity online than off. Why? Because startup and production costs are less on the Web, and distribution isn't controlled by a shrinking pool of wholesalers. According to a report from Charles River Associates, four wholesalers now control 90% of single-copy magazine distribution--down from 180 just six years ago. See: