The World’s Most Popular Web Sites

In the world of online real estate, there are some seriously big players. These megalith websites receive millions of hits every day, and make up a huge percentage of total online activity. Although they can change from year to year, they tend to follow overall market and business trends. Therefore the three top sites of 2012 represent not only the growth of one website, but a general shift in online culture.

The following are the top three global websites according to Alexa ranking, which factors in page views, user interaction and quality of content.

The Gold Medal: Google

To anyone who knows even a little about the current structure of the internet, it comes as absolutely no surprise that is the world’s most accessed site. What started out as a search engine has now blossomed into an array of products and services, including a foray into social media. What Google is most known for, however, is its search engine that consistently produces better quality results than its competitors, pushing it into the lead. In the last 3 months, 49% of global internet users accessed – that is a staggering number, and speaks to a global saturation.

The Silver Medal: Facebook

The Facebook success story has been well documented – it was even made into a movie! As of 2012, Facebook is the second most accessed site in the world. It has taken off in most developed countries as a way of keeping track of friends and family, and has well and truly introduced the term “social media” into the average vernacular. It not only has a high level of traffic, but retains audience attention for longer – the average Facebook session reaching 24 minutes! This is a very high number given most sites treasure up 5-10 minutes at best.

The Bronze Medal: YouTube

Not so fast! Google sneaks in the back door to take another spot on the podium! Although YouTube hasn’t been rebranded, it was bought by Google in 2009 for a staggering USD$1.6 billion. The video sharing site has only continued to climb as more and more people gain access to a quality internet connection, and the growth of social media has created a viral video culture, in which clips of laughing babies and sneezing pandas become the new “must see”.

The Runners-Up

It’s a tough cyber world out there, and although these guys didn’t make the top three, being one of the top ten sites in the world is no mean feat. Here are the rest of the global top ten:

4. – Yahoo’s search engine, mail and news site

5. – The biggest Chinese language search engine.

6. – A collaborative online knowledgebase.

7. – The portal for Microsoft’s Windows Live services.

8. – A micro-blogging social media site.

9. – China’s largest internet portal.

10. – The world’s largest online store and auction site.


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