The UK contributes more pages to the Internet than any other European country

A million new books are published globally each year, a fifth of them in the UK. The UK in fact publishes more tomes than any other country on earth[1]. Is this also the case online? Does the UK contribute more to the Internet's pages than other countries?

Research undertaken by Greenlight, focussing on countries in Europe, suggests that this is indeed the case. Amongst the 20 largest European countries, the UK has contributed the most pages to the Internet, around 5 times more than France and Germany, the study found. Whilst this doesn't account for the quality of those pages and who has produced them and for what reasons, it's a good relative indicator that the UK's offline publishing leadership is being mirrored online through a combination of corporate and consumer publishing.

Further findings:

  •         45% of the pages on the Internet were created in Europe, 8% in the UK
  •         There's a dramatic drop in the number of Internet pages created 'per head' as you go from the north of Europe to the south
  •         The Ukraine has the most Internet pages per head, almost 8 times more per head than Romania, Greece, or Turkey, who have the fewest
  •         The UK has published more pages on the Internet than the 10 least active European countries combined


In addition, data about offline book readership suggests that almost twice as many people, as a percentage of the population, would be classed as heavy readers in the UK, compared to say Spain or Germany [2]. Essentially, people in the UK appear to write more and read more than their European neighbours - online and offline.

Most SEO practitioners will agree that achieving high natural search rankings in the UK is infinitely harder than achieving comparable rankings in other European markets. The sheer number of pages you are competing against in the UK, as highlighted by this research, means that there are more people trying to attract a finite searching audience. This is particularly the case when people are competing in sectors where search behaviour is weighted, in terms of number of searches made, towards a relatively small handful of search terms, such as is the case in the finance and gaming sectors.

The research also highlights that there is a vast difference in the online maturity of various markets, which will need to be factored into any search strategies involving entry into new markets.


[1]Goldfarb, Jeff. " Bookish Britain overtakes America as top publisher", Reuters Entertainment, May 10, 2006

[2]Eurostat Tables 2001

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