Mapping an audience-centric World Wide Web: A departure from hyperlink analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article 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 hyperlink network with few dominant “core” Websites, the audience network is more decentralized and clustered to a larger extent along geo-linguistic lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1331-1348
Number of pages18
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Audience duplication
  • Web usage
  • cultural proximity
  • hyperlinks
  • media globalization
  • network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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