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The web presence of middle-eastern and european countries : a digital divide

Authors
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Bg. Information Dissemination And Diffusion.
  • Ba. Use And Impact Of Information.
  • Bb. Bibliometric Methods.
Disciplines
  • Communication
  • Linguistics

Abstract

This study investigates the Web presence of country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) of European and Middle-Eastern countries. Counts of web pages from European and Middle-Eastern countries were collected from the output of the Yahoo search engine. This study shows that European and Middle-Eastern countries with a higher number of Internet users have a higher web presence. The results show that the European countries, especially Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy, have the highest web presence, while the Middle-Eastern countries, apart from Turkey, Israel and Iran, have the lowest web presence. Specific features of countries may affect a country's web presence, for example for linguistic reasons; Middle-Eastern web sites (Persian, Kurdish, Turkish, Arabic and Hebrew languages) may not attract the attention they deserve from the Web community. They are not highly linked and thus they are not indexed well by search engines. Consequently, they have a low visibility on the Web. The results show that there is even a digital divide between European countries. A further gap between the developed and developing world in the uptake of information and communication technologies is obvious within the global community, and may be of even greater significance.

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