Google Code: Web Authoring Statistics

Gotta love the deadpan delivery of the contribution to the field of research about pages… Previous studies: 1315 websites, 141 websites, 119 websites, 10 websites.

Google’s sample: oh, um, slightly just a hair over a BILLION web pages. Hi guys! 🙂


Various people have, over the last few years, done studies into the popularity of authoring techniques. For example, looking at what HTML ids and classes are most common, and at how many sites validate (and yes, we know that we’re not leading the way in terms of validation).

John Allsopp’s study is the most recent one we’re aware of, where he looked at class and id attribute values on 1315 sites. Before that, Marko Karppinen did a study in 2002, looking at which of the then 141 W3C members had sites that validated; in 2003 Evan Goer did a study into 119 Alpha Geeks’ use of XHTML; and of course in 2004 François Briatte did a study covering trends of Web site design on 10 high-profile blogs. In addition, in the last year, contributors have done a lot of research into the use of class and rel attributes, amongst other things, in their pursuit of bite-sized reusable semantics. We are also aware of some studies being done by for the Mozilla project, covering thousands of pages.

We can now add to this data. In December 2005 we did an analysis of a sample of slightly over a billion documents, extracting information about popular class names, elements, attributes, and related metadata. The results we found are available below. We hope this is of use!

Thank goodness we can all now see how “normal” our coding practices are, as compared with… a lot of other people who make websites.

Check out all the cool SVG graphs (Firefox 1.5 is recommended for viewing them.)

Google Code: Web Authoring Statistics

(Via digg)

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