Estimates vary, but there are upwards of two billion websites in existence in 2023.
If we were to rank all of these websites according to their traffic numbers, we would see a classic power law distribution.
At the low end, the vast majority of these websites would be inactive, receiving little to no traffic.
On the upper end of the ranking though, a handful of websites receive the lion’s share of internet traffic.
This visualization, using data from SimilarWeb, takes a look at the 50 websites that currently sit at the top of the ranking.
Here’s the full top 50 ranking table form:
Topping the list of most-visited websites in the world is, of course, Google.
With over 3.5 billion searches per day, Google has cemented its position as the go-to source for information on the internet.
But Google’s dominance doesn’t stop there.
The company also owns YouTube, the second-most popular website in the world.
Together, Google and YouTube have more traffic than the next 48 websites combined.
The power of YouTube, in particular, is sometimes not fully understood.
The video platform is the second largest search engine in the world after Google.
As well, YouTube has the second highest duration-of-visit numbers in this top 50 ranking - the first place goes to the Chinese video-sharing website, Bilibili.
But Google and YouTube aren’t the only big players on the internet.
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Other websites in the top 50 ranking include social media giants Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
In particular, TikTok has seen a surge in popularity in recent years and is now one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.
Notable companies that have fallen out of the top 50 since our last version of this visualization are Walmart and PayPal.
Notable entrants into the top 50 are Samsung and the New York Times.
The United States is still the home base for many of the world’s biggest websites, taking up 30 spots on this ranking.
Of these 30 websites, half are operated by Big Tech companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, and Netflix.
Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea round out the top five.
Things get interesting in the “other” category, which includes six websites.
Two spots are taken up by Aaj Tak and Globo, which are large media publications in India and Brazil, respectively.
The remaining four websites—XVideos, PornHub, XHamster, and XNXX—specialize in adult content, and are located in a variety of countries.
These are often referred to as “tube sites” since they are built on the YouTube model.
Realsrv, the only adult-oriented site in the top 50 located in the U.S., is interesting to delve into as well since it’s far from a household name.
The website essentially supports advertising efforts by redirecting users away from the content they were viewing over to another page (generally premium adult content).
This is one of the key ways that adult websites earn revenue.
Guest Author: the guest expert is Nick Routley, a writer from Visual Capitalist. You can read the full article here.