Yes, there certainly is. The world wide web is composed of pages that are (mostly) hyperlinked together. Each page's links influences the other pages because it serves as a potential avenue for people to traverse the web. It also affects the search rankings of those web pages. Google's PageRank is a well-known algorithm used to rank pages based on how many links point to it and the reputation of the pages that host those links. These pages may never be visited, but their existence affects which other pages show up in searches on search engines like Google. I call these pages "dark pages".
|An illustration of the PageRank algorithm.|
Dark pages are like dark mass. They are rarely observed, if ever, but we can infer their existence based on their effect on the rest of the internet. They have "mass" in that they can push other pages to better rankings. They are attached to other websites with hyperlinks, and they contribute "mass" to these websites that make them seem more important to search engines.
Now that I've spent a paragraph awkwardly trying to force the dark matter/dark pages parallel, I'll give you some evidence of the existence of dark pages. When searching Google for "garage door repair johns creek", you will find a Digg article: http://digg.com/news/story/Garage_Door_Repair_Johns_Creek_GA. This is a dark page. Don't be fooled by the fact that it's on the Digg domain. It's been Digg'd only twice, probably by the author and one other person that the author knows. Few people have ever seen this article, and for good reason, too. It's just a link to a company website that no one on a Social Bookmarking website would care about. This page exists solely to shape the internet that is shown to you when using search engines and nothing more.
|A dark page linking to the website of an SEO firm's client.|
If you dig a little deeper and look at the profile page for the person who posted that Digg article, http://digg.com/millclar, you will only see two articles posted by him. Neither of which are the above article. I'm not sure if this is because Digg has some bugs in it or if the author removed it himself. I believe the author periodically removes posts from his accounts in order to hide the websites that he has spammed to Digg for improved rankings, but I have no proof of this.
|Several dark page articles linking to more SEO clients.|
Searching deeper, I found the Digg poster's twitter page which has the username @cobbroof (http://twitter.com/#!/cobbroof). This twitter count is 100% spam and consists of nothing but retweets with links to websites that appear to be clients of Atlanta Web Pros (which I'm assuming is Millard Clark's employer.) Again, these tweets are not meant for people. The only people following this twitter account are other spam accounts and one Home Inspector that I can only assume is a former client of the SEO firm that Millard Clark works for. These tweets were made to be indexed by search engines to give rankings boosts to the clients of SEO firms.
|An entire twitter account dedicated to linking to SEO clients. A dark page that affects what web pages we see without ever beeing seen itself.|
It's a known fact the SEO firms don't always use the most ethical means of promoting their client's sites. That is not the point of this article. The point of this article is to enlighten you on the fact that the internet that is presented to you is only a very small part of the whole. The pages you see are presented to you because they were picked by an algorithm, and that algorithm is influenced by every page it scans. Although the portion of the internet you see every day is most familiar to you, its the hidden, dark pages of the internet that determine what content you see. In the end, it is the pages that you don't see that play the most important role in what you read in your web browser.