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Google, Facebook, and YouTube Top the List of the World’s Best Global Websites in 2011
(BOSTON) – How many languages does it take to stay competitive online? A minimum of 16, if you want to be among the best – and that number keeps growing each year, according to independent research firm Common Sense Advisory.  Its latest report, titled “The Top-Scoring Global Websites,” includes a ranking of the world’s 100 best websites for global and multilingual visitors.

But language isn’t the only thing that determines web globalization success. The firm’s Global Web Score evaluates sites using 20 scoring areas, including the total addressable audience the site can reach and the spending power of the linguistic communities it supports. Sites that make it difficult for global audiences to quickly find relevant content are penalized with point deductions for poor practices.

Out of a maximum Global Web Score of 10, Google led the list of top-ranked sites with 9.56, followed closely by Facebook (9.53) and YouTube (9.51). “There’s no doubt about it – web globalization is now a mainstream business activity,” explains Ben Sargent, the lead author of the report. “Monolingual websites fail to reach even 25% of the world’s internet users. It takes 11 languages to pass the 80% mark.”

Web globalization makes online experiences available to visitors arriving from other countries or speaking other languages. To develop the ranking of top sites, Common Sense Advisory computed Global Web Scores for 1,000 of the world’s best brands, biggest companies, and most popular websites. Web giants were not the only ones to make the list. Other companies that top this year’s leader board include Wikipedia (9.43), Samsung (9.11), Blackberry (9.10), and HP (8.97).

“Companies are learning that if they want to achieve higher levels of international revenue, their web presence must be global,” Sargent observes. “But more languages do not necessarily result a better score – it takes a combination of quantity and quality to create a compelling web experience for users that may speak any language and come from anywhere in the world.”

Calculations, metrics, and concepts that factor into the Global Web Score include:

•   Geolingual visitors, individuals who will be more likely to complete tasks on a website if content is adapted to his or her country requirements and/or linguistic preferences
•   Customer experience levels (CELs), a proscribed set of experiences common to all websites
•   Availability quotient (AQ), what percent of world online population can take advantage of a given CEL on a particular website
•   World online wallet (WOW), the economic buying potential of online audiences.
•   Metanavigation, how a visitor moves from one country or language to another within the global web presence of a single company

The “Top-Scoring Global Websites” report also includes:

•   The eleven languages it takes to address 80% of total online population
•   100 graphics depicting the metanavigation schemes of each of the top-ranking sites
•   The best ways to organize sites to alleviate visitor confusion
•   Review of zero-click strategies such as geolocation to direct users to relevant content
•   When to use and when to avoid navigational tactics such as flags and language displays
•   Social media and multimedia engagement strategies for global and multilingual visitors
•   The growing role of video content and localization strategies for global websites
•   Detailed descriptions of each of the 20 scoring areas used to compute the Global Web Score
•   Explanations of point deductions for poor global web design practices
•   Examples of websites that demonstrate good and bad practices in website  globalization

Separately, the ranked list of top 100 global websites, which indicates each company’s Global Web Score, is available as a free download with registration on Common Sense Advisory’s website. The full report, titled, “Top-Scoring Global Websites,” is available to members of the firm’s Global Leaders research program.

Alphabetical Listing of Websites Included in the Ranking of the Global Top 100
3m.com
adidas.com
adobe.com
allianz.com
americanexpress.com
apple.com
audi.com
axa.com
badoo.com
bat.com
bing.com
blackberry.com
blogger.com
bms.com
bmw.com
booking.com
bp.com
bridgestone.com
canon.com
cisco.com
coca-cola.com
dell.com
deutsche-bank.com
facebook.com
fedex.com
ford.com
fotolia.com
fujifilm.com
ge.com
gillette.com
gm.com
goal.com
Google.com
gsk.com
harley-davidson.com
heineken.com
hi5.com
hitachi.com
honda.com
hp.com
hyundai.com
ibm.com
imagebam.com
intel.com
internationalpaper.com
jackdaniels.com
jpmorgan.com
justin.tv
kfc.com
lancome.com
last.fm
lilly.com
live.com
liveinternet.ru
mcdonalds.com
megaupload.com
mercedes-benz.com
merck.com
microsoft.com
miniclip.com
mozilla.com
mtv.com
nescafe.com
nestle.com
nissan-global.com
nivea.com
nokia.com
novartis.com
orkut.com
parker.com
paypal.com
pfizer.com
pg.com
philips.com
porsche.com
renault.com
samsung.com
sap.com
shell.com
Siemens.com
softonic.com
starbucks.com
tagged.com
thepiratebay.org
ti.com
toyota.co.jp
tripadvisor.com
unilever.com
uploading.com
ups.com
visa.com
vkontakte.ru
volkswagen.com
wikia.com
Wikipedia.org
wordreference.com
xerox.com
xing.com
yahoo.com
youtube.com

For additional information about Common Sense Advisory’s research, visit www.commonsenseadvisory.com.
  
About Common Sense Advisory
Common Sense Advisory, Inc. is an independent research and analysis firm specializing in the on- and offline operations driving business globalization, internationalization, localization, translation, and interpretation. Its research, consulting, and training help organizations improve the quality of their global business operations. For more information, visit: www.commonsenseadvisory.com or www.twitter.com/CSA_Research.
Submitted On: 3/31/2011

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