The World Wide Web may be viewed as a gigantic market for information. In this market there are producers (authors) and consumers (readers) and the currency for information is attention. In this paper we examine the distribution of attention across the World Wide Web. Through study of the habits of web users, we conclude that the currency of attention is highly concentrated on a relatively small number of web resources, and that the rich appear to be getting slightly richer over time. We also study the effect of search engines on the distribution of attention, and conclude that search engines produce a more uniform distribution of attention than generic surfing habits. Finally, we show that the observed distribution of attention is in substantial disagreement with the distribution that is suggested by the random surfer model embodied in the PageRank algorithm
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