Top Websites 15 Years Ago and Where Are They Today

One of the biggest tests for internet companies is the test of time. There were many internet companies in the past, that dominated the web and at that time it seemed that they will stay there forever, but eventually only a few survived…

I have found a great post that shows who were the most popular websites 15 years ago, so i want to compare those websites to our times most popular sites- Which ones survived and what happened to the ones that didn’t.

Most Popular Websites 15 Years Ago

Apparently, the portal AOL.com was the most popular website- 41% of the US internet users were using it. Also in the top 20 list, there are 3 universities, some internet services providers and even one adult file sharing website! Here is the full list:

Popular Websites In 1996

Only Few Known Names Today

Where Are They Today?

AOL.com- Still operates.

Webcrawler.com- Acquired by InfoSpace, a company of search products.

Netscape.com- Acquired by AOL.

Yahoo.com- Still operates

Infoseek.com- Acquired by Disney to form Go.com and replaced completely by Yahoo.

Prodigy.com- After switching several hands, disappeared completely in the US and operates only in Mexico.

Compuserve.com- Subsidiary of AOL.

UMich.edu- Still operates.

Primenet.com- Still operates (pretty poorly).

Well.com- Acquired by Salon.com.

Comparison To Our Times Popular Websites

Interestingly enough, only 2 from the top 20 websites 15 years ago, survived at the top by themselves- Yahoo and AOL. Even more interesting, is that they remained at the top 5 US web properties (including all their acquired websites and subsidiaries)- Yahoo is second with 83% penetration and AOL is fifth with 51.5%.

Here are the top 20 web properties of today:

Top Web Properties Today

Will They Survive The Test Of Time?

I believe that more internet companies from this list will survive the future than the list from 15 years ago, where only 2 made it. At any case, It will be interesting to look back 15 years from now on this table and find out who survived then…

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  • Liz

    Great article. I remember infoseek! I bet the internet will definitely look very different in 15 years than it does now.