(Image: Mark Graham and Stefano De Sabbata/Oxford Internet Institute)
You may not have heard of Baidu, VK or Yandex — but those are the most popular websites in China, Belarus and Russia, respectively. Most of the rest of the world is dominated by two online empires: Google and Facebook.
Mark Graham and Stefano De Sabbata, two researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute, put together this map of the top website in each of 120 countries, and rendered it as a British colonial-era map (the title, Age of Internet Empires, is a nod to a classic computer game series).The data for the map comes from Alexa, an online analytics company which collects information from millions of internet users. Alexa's data in sub-Saharan Africa is sparse, particularly in countries with fewer internet users, which explains why they're missing from the map.
"The supremacy of Google and Facebook over any other site on the Web is clearly apparent," Graham and De Sabbata write in their accompanying blog post. "We also see an interesting geographical continuity of these two 'empires'. Google is the most visited website in most of Europe, North America, and Oceania. Facebook, in contrast, is the most-visited website in most of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as much of the Spanish-speaking Americas."
Graham and De Sabbata found that Google is the most-visited site for over half of internet users, but despite its dominance on the map, Facebook wasn't number two. Instead, that honour went to Baidu, a Chinese search engine that came in first place in both China and, interestingly, South Korea (combined population: 1.4 billion). Drilling down beyond the number-one spot, Graham and De Sabbata found that all the countries where Facebook came in first had either Google or YouTube in second place.
"We are likely still in the very beginning of the Age of Internet Empires," they write. "But, it may well be that the territories carved out now will have important implications for which companies end up controlling how we communicate and access information for many years to come."
Here are the top 25 most visited websites in Canada according to Alexa:
- Windows Live
- Government of Canada
- The Internet Movie Database
- TD Canada Trust
- Apple Inc.