January 25, 2022

New Tech Report: "How Web 1.0 Fails: The Mismatch Between Hyperlinks and Clickstreams"


How Web 1.0 Fails: The Mismatch Between Hyperlinks and Clickstreams


Lingfei Wu
City University of Hong Kong

Robert Ackland
The Australian National University




The core of the Web is a hyperlink navigation system collaboratively set up by web- masters to help users find desired websites. But does this system really work as expected? We show that the answer seems to be negative: there is a substantial mismatch between hyperlinks and the pathways that users actually take. A closer look at empirical surfing activities reveals the reason of the mismatch: webmasters try to build a global virtual world without geographical or cultural boundaries, but users in fact prefer to navigate within more fragmented, language-based groups of websites. We call this type of behavior “preferential navigation” and find that it is driven by “local” search engines.

Direct to Full Text (12 Pages; PDF)
Note: When we downloaded this afternoon pages 11-12 were not included in the PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.