Tag Archives: invisible web

Difference between internet and world wide web

The internet refers to the various physical infrastructures, such as nodes and servers, that make up a distributed network of networks whereas the world wide web, or web, is a form of communication over the internet. Other forms of communication include e-mail, blogs, wiki’s, videos and threaded discussions, for instance.

Despite the different types of web the whole entity can be collectively referred to as a massive collection of webpages stored on millions of internet-connected PCs all over the world. Combining this with the various terms for the web allows us to conclude that the web is a massive medium, in scale and scope.

Types of web

The scale of the web can be seen by the types of web. The web, in its simplest form, is comprised of two types of web: visible and invisible. These terms though are not accurate because the term invisible suggests that this type of web cannot be searched. Pay-per-view databases, for instance, can be searched and, thus, are not invisible. It is, however, the case that web search engines cannot index pay-per-view databases so this is where the term invisible originates.

Different terms for the web

Visible web
Otherwise known as publicly indexable, surface, or open web. These visible types of web are known to web search engines and can therefore be seen through search engines, such as, Google, Bing and Yahoo, for instance.
Almost visible web
This occurs whenever only a number of webpages are indexed rather than a whole website. Other terms include: opaque or barley visible web. How does this happen? Spiders have a limit to crawl which means not every page can be crawled and indexed. Webmasters can also turn away bots by using robots.txt (or NOINDEX) commands which is a little bit of code that tells search engines not to crawl selected webpages.
Gated web also comes under the category almost visible web because gated websites include those that use IDs to enter a site. CIPD, for example, requires free user registration to access resources that are not available to web search engines because they cannot register as users.
Invisible web
Deep, or unknown, web refers to things web search engines cannot crawl and, thus, index. Amazon used to be like this because all of its products we kept on Amazon’s database. Recently, however, search engines can display Amazon product’s because each product, or webpage, is comprised of HTML which is crawled by search engines.
The term professional web refers to high powered online services, for example, Dialog or Lexis Nexis. These types of websites require users to pay to access specified resources.
Vanishing web
These are usually visible websites that simply disappear by changing address, for example, or whenever a business goes out of business.

Quick history of the web

In 1984 the web was invented by a scientific establishment called CERN. At that time CERN hoped to share scientific knowledge across Europe via published materials. This meant the web was born. In 1984 Tim Berners-Lee started to invent hypertext to link webpages to other webpages but there were a lack of tools. By 1990 Berners-Lee invented all the appropriate tools for the web, as we know it today, for instance, HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). See Wikipedia for more.

Some advantages of The Web

The web as a communication medium has allowed us to share a range of accessible material with the connected world. The infrastructure of the internet has meant that uploaded content exists ‘all over the place’ which means the web is an open and free medium. This communication ability, in addition, allows us to promote ourselves online which, in turn, has meant businesses’ can expand economically (i.e. businesses can grow by web profits).

Some disadvantages of The Web

The open and free web has meant that previously purchased products, for example music videos, can be accessed and downloaded which infringes, mainly, copyright. Other laws can also be infringed. Breaking laws has, often considerably, large consequences on the economy. Aside from laws and the openness the web can also have social problems. Does a lot of web use mean people are more isolated because they don’t need to meet real-life people as much? Possibly.

The internet is a powerful medium because traditional mediums have changed, for example, online chats have changed face-to-face communication.

Iceberg's have a surface and deep view.

An iceberg can represent the web because it is bigger below sea level. Source.

This post analysed all the various types of web; they are:

  • Visible web
  • Invisible web
  • Publicly indexable web
  • Surface web
  • Deep web
  • Almost visible web
  • Vanishing web
  • Open web
  • Gated web
  • Professional web

Web vs Internet

This post, additionally, explained that the internet is the physical infrastructure whereas the web is a form of communication using the internet as a means to send communication messages.

What parts of the web do you search? Would you like to know something else raised here? Tweet Gerald. Get in touch.

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  2. Chowdhury, G.G. (1999) Introduction to modern information retrieval. 2nd edition. London: Facet Publishing
  3. Lake Land College. (no date) Types of Online Communication. [Online] [Accessed on 29th September 2013]
  4. Pedley, P. (2001) The invisible web. London: Aslib