Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What’s the most popular website in the World?

After reading the title you all probably immediately know the answer. Heck, most of you probably came to this article via king of the dot-com hill, Google.

Given Google is a pretty much no-brainer for most of the western countries; you may be surprised at how much competition they’re putting up with in other parts of the world. Thanks to a development team known as Webempires, we can take a causal gander at this global market full of surprising results with their number one website by country map.

Looking at their map we can clearly see Google’s grip on the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. However, there’s a lot more to the world than that.

It seems large parts of Northern Africa have been into Facebook. That’s seems about right since in the past year and a half these countries have been more involved in communicating and organizing protests than looking up lolcats. Mongolia and the South Pacific Islands also seem to be into Facebook more than any search engine. I reckon they’re big Farmville fans.

Two countries with a tendency to do things their own way, Russia and China, don’t disappoint in this area either. In China, search engine Baidu was more than happy to fill the void left by Google after their falling out with the country. Baidu is currently the 5th most used website according to Alexa, which is a testament to the massive population of that country.

Russia meanwhile has found a friend in Yandex. Although an uncommon name outside of Russian and other Eastern European countries, Yandex is much appreciated for its superior understanding of the Russian language when used in search queries.

This leaves that strange dark spot over Japan. Too small to read, that blotch actually represents Yahoo. Yes, according to Alexa, the Japanese language Yahoo alone reaches the number 16 spot worldwide. That’s a very impressive ranking for such a limited language worldwide.

So why does Japan love Yahoo so much? Based on one die hard user I talked to, “their top page hardly ever changes format.” True words since looking at the Yahoo.co.jp top page, it looks nearly identical to the Yahoo from ten years ago compared to their dot-com counterpart which has made some modest changes over the years.

So it seems much of Japan appreciates consistency in their websites, which is interesting since that’s one of Google’s key points too. Yahoo just seemed to beat them to the punch here and is enjoying the rewards – for now…

- Umesh Shanmgam

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