The U.K.'s Oxford Internet Institute has put together an interesting illustration of the most popular websites around the world. Not surprising, Google and Facebook dominate the globe.
We're not quite sure what the data mean, if anything, but you can be the judge.
The institute, using data from the Web analytics site Alexa, crunched the numbers and came up with this: In North America and Europe, parts of South America, South Asia and Southeast Asia, Google is tops. But Facebook predominates in much of Latin America. North Africa is Facebook territory, but Internet users in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa are first and foremost Googling. Search engines in China (Baidu) and Russia (Yandex) predominate in those countries. Japan is another outlier with Yahoo! Japan.
Even so, as the Oxford Internet Institute notes:
"The power of Google on the Internet becomes starkly evident if we also look at the second most visited website in every country. Among the 50 countries that have Facebook listed as the most visited website, 36 of them have Google as the second most visited, and the remaining 14 countries list YouTube (currently owned by Google)."
"China is a particularly interesting case: The Chinese search engine Baidu is the most visited website in the country, but its success may be engineered in part by the government. As the speculation goes — and some evidence suggests — Chinese officials have colluded with local business interests to limit Google's share of the market in favor of Baidu and other companies (cases have been reported of Chinese users visiting Google, only to be mysteriously redirected to Baidu, though Baidu denies that the government is giving it a leg up on the competition). Today, Baidu controls around 80 percent of the Chinese search market and, according to Alexa data that the Oxford researchers question, recently became the market leader in South Korea as well (Google left mainland China in 2010, but still runs a Hong Kong-based portal)."