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260 Million Porn Pages

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Sep 23, 2003 12:00 AM PDT    Text size: 
The number of porn-related web pages are proliferating rapidly, web filtering company N2H2 announced today.

As part of a review of its in-house data, the Seattle-based company discovered that there are an estimated 260 million porn pages currently online. That number reflects an 1,800 percent uptick from five years ago, a company spokesperson told XBiz.

According to N2H2, a search on Google for the word "porn" typically results in more than 80 million pages, and "xxx" returns more than 76 million, the company said.

A competing study done by Alexa Research found that the single most popular search term used at search engines is the word "sex." Users search for "sex" more than other terms such as "games," "travel," "music," "jokes," "cars," "weather," "health" and "jobs" combined.

The Alexa study also found that "pornography/porno" was the fourth-most searched for subject on the World Wide Web.

The impetus behind N2H2's study was to warn schools, government agencies, and corporations of the growing availability of online porn content.

"We think it represents the effort of the pornography industry to inundate the entire Internet to drive revenue," said David Burt of N2H2. "A good step is to use filtering software to avoid this material and for better enforcement of existing obscenity laws to go into effect."

Among those porn sites that N2H2 counted in its study are companies and private entities that deliberately register domain names that take advantage of spelling mistakes when web users search for legitimate sites.

In 1998, N2H2 did a similar study on the adult entertainment industry and at the time found that only 14 million sites were officially dedicated to pornographic content.

Today's rapidly expanding online adult entertainment industry reflects a "20-fold" increase," the company said.

According to the National Research Council (NRC): "The growth in the number of pornographic web pages is driven by the economics of Internet pornography."

The NRC issued a recent study titled "Youth, Pornography and the Internet" that stated: "Revenue models of the adult online industry suggest that broad exposure is needed to attract potential customers, and so the industry engages in tactics that seek to generate the broadest possible audience."

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