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Google, Facebook, and YouTube Top the List of the World’s Best Global Websites in 2011

New report from research firm Common Sense Advisory details how language, customer experience, metanavigation, engagement, and other globalization metrics factor into higher levels of international revenues.

Boston, MA, April 02, 2011 --( 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

For additional information about Common Sense Advisory’s research, visit Members of the media may request a complimentary copy of the report or summary of the report by contacting Melissa Gillespie at

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: or

Contact Information
Common Sense Advisory
Melissa C. Gillespie
twitter: @CSA_Research

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