20 most popular web sites since 1996

We like to think of sites like Google, Facebook and Amazon as immutable — parts of the web as it exists now and has always existed. This is not the case, however. Sixteen years ago, only Amazon (the CEO of which owns The Post) was a popular site; it was the 16th most popular site on the web according to Media Metrix (which later was absorbed into comScore). Infoseek and Hotbot were more popular than Google (which, that December, looked like this) and Facebook (which didn’t exist).

Sites like AOL and Yahoo did exist — and were popular. But the easiest way to make that point is to share with you this graphic, which shows the 20 most popular sites in December of each year, according to comScore. More interestingly, what it shows is when certain sites became and then stopped being popular.