Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Web of Web Definitions

Chatting with a colleague yesterday brought up these terms and reminded me that talking about the invisible web - what's in it, who is using it, how to get at it, etc. - is not necessarily entrenched in LIS education.  We teach students how to search online databases and the surface web, and likely don't mention that most of what is available is hidden, either because it has been purposefully hidden or because it just isn't connected to the Internet.  Consider if 3% of the Internet is findable, that is like being surrounded by 100 people, but only being able to see three of them. Scary, yes?

And so as a reminder - and perhaps to peek your interest - here are some definitions.

Clear web, surface web, or clearnet:
...the region of the Internet that most of us are familiar with, this is publicly accessible web pages that are largely indexed on search engines. - MarTech
Typical search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing actually access only a tiny fraction — estimated at 0.03% — of the internet. The sites that traditional searches yield are part of what’s known as the Surface Web, which is comprised of indexed pages that a search engine’s web crawlers are programmed to retrieve. - OEDB
Invisible web (includes the deep web and the dark web):
Quite simply, it is made up of information that search engines either cannot or will not add to their web indexes.  - The Guardian
Deep web:
The 'Deep Web' refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find. - IDG
Dark web or dark net:
The Dark Web is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers. - IDG
The dark net generally means using the internet in a manner that is difficult for authorities or non-state actors to monitor. This is usually achieved through encryption or by layering networks. - Australian Broadcasting Network

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