If you spend time online, chances are you’re familiar with some of the most visited websites in the world. On today’s internet, a handful of giants have unparalleled dominance.
Main three websites (monthly visits):
- Google: 92.5 billion
- YouTube: 34.6 billion
- Facebook: 25.5 billion
Together, the top three websites collect 152 billion monthly visits, surpassing the next 47 websites combined. Plus, as the pandemic has transformed everything from the way we work, learn, communicate and shop, most of these businesses have migrated online.
In this new view, we look at the most visited websites around the world, drawing data from SimilarWeb (as of November 2020).
The best global websites
Managing over two trillion search queries annually across its network, Alphabet-owned Google ranks first with its flagship domain, Google.com. Google makes about 80% of its earnings from advertising revenue.
In second place, the social networking platform Facebook has a user base of 2.7 billion . On average, users spend 34 minutes on the site every day, while 36% of users say it’s also where they get news, higher than any other social network.
As the leading search engine in China, Baidu (# 7) received 5.6 billion visitors in November. Baidu is also expanding its business, venturing into electric vehicles (EVs) in a partnership with Chinese automaker Geely.
With the demand for videoconferencing during the pandemic, Zoom (# 15) was launched in the most visited websites with 2.7 billion visitors per month. Likewise, TikTok (# 43) has become a freshly minted addition.
The most visited websites, by country of origin
With 27 sites on the list, the US remains a dominant player. While its reach is highly concentrated globally, only a handful of companies own the majority of these sites.
Microsoft (# 28), for example, owns seven of the best sites in the world, including LinkedIn (# 25) and Live.com (# 16). Amazon (# 13), on the other hand, owns five, including Twitch.tv (# 32), along with popular Amazon-focused domains in Japan, the UK, and Germany.
China has five top websites: Baidu (# 7), QQ (# 34), Bilibili (# 42), TikTok (# 43), and AliExpress (# 47). QQ.com, owned by Tencent, is the leading news site in China, with over 981 million monthly visits. Like WeChat, QQ also provides a popular messaging platform.
Only four of the most visited websites globally are based in both Russia and Japan, while the rest of the world has 10 top sites in total.
Reaching new heights
Although the global models of the internet are clearly dominated by a few titans, what can we do with their recent traffic growth?
Between June 2019 and November 2020, Google’s monthly visitors increased by 52.9% . Among the most visited websites globally, this growth rate is only behind Instagram (# 6) at 89.1% and Twitter (# 4) at 67.1%.
Wikipedia (# 5), a non-profit website created in 2001 by Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales, has achieved growth of over 30% .
Although the big tech companies have only accelerated their market share (Google accounts for about 90% of the search ad market), several regulatory bodies are placing more control over them. An October 2020 antitrust report suggested that Big Tech is actually anti-competitive, making comparisons with 19th and 20th century oil tycoons.
With these key forces in mind, it raises a crucial question: Is there a limit to their growth?