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Mapping an Audience Centric World Wide Web: A Departure From Hyperlink Analysis

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Preprint
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Submission Date
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arXiv ID: 1603.03370
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arXiv
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Abstract

This paper argues that maps of the Web's structure based solely on technical infrastructure such as hyperlinks may bear little resemblance to maps based on Web usage, as cultural factors drive the latter to a larger extent. To test this thesis, the study constructs two network maps of 1000 globally most popular Web Domains, one based on hyperlinks and the other using an "audience centric" approach with ties based on shared audience traffic between these domains. Analyses of the two networks reveal that unlike the centralized structure of the hyperlinks network with few dominant "core" websites, the audience network is more decentralized and clustered to a larger extent along geo-linguistic lines.

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