It is said that about 1.7 billion websites exist. Although the estimate is not certain due to the loss and launch of websites, it doesn’t undersell the significance of the web in today’s world.
The web is so massive that the storage capacity is about 1 million exabytes and it holds up to 6 billion pages. There is the dark web and the open web. Any web that cannot be accessed through a traditional search engine is known as the dark web. Yet, the majority of the statistics are about the open web. This is to show how deep and wide the web is. The massiveness and the fear of loss and retrieval are what led to web archiving.
Overview of Web Archiving
According to the opinions of internet enthusiasts shared on ReviewsBird.com, web archiving is the process of gathering, storing, and preserving important data on the web for future use. The process of archiving or say web archiving causes is called a crawl and is carried out by agents known as crawlers. Web curation has been in existence for a while. It is thus not a new term. It is curated in projects and a single curation could go on for years. Internet Archive, an American digital library is claimed to be the largest web archiving project in the world. And the project was created by Brewster Kahle in 1996.
Terms and Terminologies in Web Archiving
When a group of curated archived web documents is created or themed around a topic or domain, it is known as a collection of web archives. This job is usually done by crawlers and the operation is a crawl. The amount of data collected at a single subscription after crawling is known as crawl budget. Not everything is captured by crawlers. Scope is the amount of collections captured and not. The seed is an item on archiving that guides crawlers to archived content. Seed type can be standard, standard plus, one page, or one-page plus. It has a URL that serves as the starting point for a crawler and access point to archived content. Archived websites are made visible by Wayback Machine and Umbra is the browser used to crawl the archived contents and resources.
Importance or Significance of Web Archiving
You might be wondering why the need to archive web content and resources. Well, the answers are not distant. Considering the staggering amount of data at our disposal, archiving helps to sort through them. Sorting and filtering are necessary for the effective use of information. If these web materials are gathered, they could be used to better understand and solve the complexities of human needs. In the 21st century, every piece of data and information matters. And the fact is, the web is not permanent as many people want to believe. If the web is to disappear tomorrow, web archiving can serve as the last retrieval system for all data lost and just the appropriate platform to conduct more research about the digital ways of the technological generations.
Archiving web content is essential for the volatile internet whose decisions are largely motivated by politics.