masthead for Beyond Google: The Invisible Web with a spiderweb next to it

Some Fast Facts About the Invisible Web

2001:
  • Even the best search engines can access only about 16% of the available information on the World Wide Web. Therefore 84% of the information is excluded. That 84% has become known as the Invisible Web.
  • Put another way, the size of the Invisible Web is 500 times larger than the Surface Web.
  • The Invisible Web contains nearly 550 billion individual documents as compared with the Surface Web's 1 billion.
  • The Invisible Web is the largest growing category of new information on the Web.
  • 95% of the Invisible Web is publicly accessible information.
  • More than half of the Invisible Web resides in topic specific databases.

(Bergman 2001)


2003:
  • Surface Web: 167 terabytes
  • Deep Web: 91,850 terabytes

(Lyman 2003)


2006:
  • Academic Invisible Web between 20-100 billion documents

(Lewandowski 2006)


2012:
  • 11+ billion static pages are hidden from the public as well as 450+ billion database-driven are completely invisible to Google

(Paul Gil 2013)


2013:
  • "Trillions + pages of information" that current search engines cannot find

(Zillman 2015)


  • "In fact, typical search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing actually access only a tiny fraction – estimated at 0.03% – of the internet."

(Ultimate Guide to the Invisible Web 2013)


Updated September 2015