This page has lists of the top web sites of the world based on various web ranking sources and services. Like most statistics, these should be taken with a pinch of salt as no ranking can be thorough and complete in the way it works out the web site positions. Having said that, the chances of a popular web site slipping out of the top 10 or 20 ranking list in a couple of months is remote.
Please understand that rankings of the top web sites will change over time and the lists you find on this page were for the month of October 2009. For example, MySpace.com that once used to rank sixth on Alexa.com is no longer on the list.
The 10 top web sites list (unique visitors metric) from Compete.com is a short and to-the-point ranking of the most popular web sites. The top search engines / portals – Google, Yahoo! and Live all figure on this list. In fact, there are three Microsoft properties in the top 10 list followed by two of Google’s – the search engine and video hosting Youtube.com web site. The list also shows that social networking is a greater rage than shopping – comparing Facebook.com with ebay.com and amazon.com. I really like that Wikipedia, the world’s free encyclopaedia, comes in the top 10 listing – shows disbursing knowledge for free may pay back with visitor numbers. Facebook usage has increased leaps and bounds – it’s now at #2 and will soon take the top slot.
Alexa, an Amazon company, has a list of top 500 web sites of the world. You can also find lists of top web sites for different countries or based on categories. These lists are compiled from the data collected from internet users who have the Alexa toolbar installed. Most serious statisticians do not give much credence to Alexa lists and rankings because these are collected only from those who have the Alexa toolbar which probably will skew the data. Anyway, the lists are probably better than individual web site rankings, especially beyond the 100,000 mark. If you want to find the Alexa rank of your web site, head off to the SiteInfo page and enter the URL.
Hitwise.com has a list of the 20 top web sites based on the internet usage by 10 million U.S. citizens. This means Hitwise ranking of the top web sites is not worldwide and applies only to the United States. Anyway, barring a few that cater primarily to the American audience, like Craig’s List; we can safely assume that the rest would definitely feature in the global listing. Hitwise also ranks the top search engines, travel and social networking web sites (because they are such a rage now). The rankings are probably compiled weekly.
My favourite service… why? Because it gives you a gargantuan amount of data for free. Quantcast.com lists the top million web sites in the U.S. The entire file is available for download – it’s almost 10 MB – and this saves you time browsing through every single page. The service also provides numbers for each site along with a short phrase describing the online resource. Additionally, you can find information on your web site too – go to the Quantcast homepage and enter the domain name. You shall also come to know of related web sites and check the U.S. demographics for yours and others. A great service and highly recommended.
Only Alexa analyses all the web sites – the rest just focus on United States traffic. It is indeed heartening to know that they mostly agree. Though the ranks of individual web sites may vary in the top 10. The top position is (obviously) Google’s followed by Yahoo! or Facebook. It does tend to get a little hazy after that because Hitwise segregates individual services like Yahoo! and Yahoo! Mail are ranked separately. Having said that, Live, eBay, Myspace, Wikipedia and Youtube can safely be regarded as the top U.S. web sites in addition to the leaders.
The original hardware and software associated with the birth of the web have been preserved at the CERN museum. The NeXT computers still have some of the original code of the WorldWideWeb, the first web browser developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. [more...]