How many active internet website there is on internet?

brainteaser estimation guess-estimates
Recent activity on Oct 11, 2017
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 10, 2017

Hello everyone,

I got this question in an interview and was stuck on how to solve it

How would you approach this problem?

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Ray updated an answer on Oct 11, 2017

Hi, thanks for your question. I think the case is essentially testing your ability to segment a massive concept like 'internet websites' to its components. Below is my answer for this case:

Assume one website represents one particular entity (e.g. LinkedIn is one website and not multiple web pages)

No. of active internet website = [No. of government websites (e.g. US Department of Justice, Ukraine's Telecommunications Commission etc.) + No. of Private Sector websites (e.g. Facebook, McKinsey, UBER etc.) + No. of NGO websites (e.g. Oxfam, Red Cross etc.)] x 1.1 (10% for others that don't fall into this category like random personal websites you're developing out of interest, school work, pilot project etc.)

No. of government websites = No. of countries x Average no. of industries per country

No. of Private Sector websites = Average no. of companies x No. of industries

  • If more detail is required, average no. of companies can be broken down to family businesses, SMEs, and large corporations. I would advise you to size based on a medium-sized country and just use that to multiply by the total number of countries

No. of NGO websites - Similar as No. of Private Sector websites

Hope this helps in any way and happy to get comments/feedback on this - thanks!


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replied on Oct 10, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


I would try this:

  1. 1M words in English language
  2. 60% or 600k are nouns
  3. 1.2 M if every word has multiple forms (e.g. dog / dogs)
  4. How often do I see a single-word web-sites? Probably 1 in 50
  5. How many domain zones? .com is probably 60% of the internet

You can take it from here and add as many assumptions as you want (e.g. different languages, word permutations, etc). I think this case is more about the approach rather than having precise numbers.


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