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article imageThe Best Global Web Sites of 2007

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 28, 2007 in Business
Google is the number one Global Web Site, 2007, Wikipedia is second.
Globalbydesign.com has released the publication of the of the 2007 Web Globalization Report Card. It is an extensive report available for $1,995 electronic download. The price is high, but if a company wants to be a global leader reading such reports in what make the big leaders click, will give a good idea how to improve their services.
This report in its fourth edition rates how successfully companies develop Web sites for international markets. we look at things such as number of languages offered, depth of localization, global consistency, and global navigation.
They reviewed more than 200 websites and the top 10 list for the year 2007 are the following:
1. Google
2. Wikipedia
3. Cisco Systems
4. Philips
5. HP
6. Caterpillar
7. Volvo Cars
8. Seagate
9. Microsoft
10. American Express
Google is number one not because of the just the search interface, but rather because of its rapid localization of the many Google Software applications which customizes according to each region. So, the users don’t have to visit US site first and then visit the various countries links.
Wikipedia is number 2 which is a surprise to many, since it is not one of a large corporation but is a success because of the Open source content it offers to the public. Wikipedia offers content in more than 250 languages and a dedicated group of volunteers from around the globe.
Cisco Systems moved up in the rankings this year thanks in part to a redesign. It will be a major player soon it is involved in creating routers and switches, will be in high demand with the proliferation of downloads of large files and faster broadband speeds.
And Philips, Microsoft, and Seagate broke into the top 10 this year.
The report found two trends for their popularity, one is that the average number of languages supported by the 200 sites has increased to 18, up from 15 last year. And the average number of languages supported by the top 20 Web sites was 45. Before for a website to have a larger presence in the world, they needed 10 languages, but it is not enough anymore, more users are using the internet in large numbers, so more languages will become necessary.
Another important trend is the popularity of splash global gateway. Nearly a third of the 200 sites now use some form of splash gateway page specifically to aid in global navigation. Once you visit a major site with multi language support it will ask you which language you would like to see and then it will remember that when you visit the next time, usually in the form of a cookie. Recently another trend has been spotted not only language but also geolocation, since many languages are spoken at various places like Spanish, French, languages including English.
Now we know why Google, Wikipedia is popular because of their global reach. Before the trend used to be “Go West” to strike it rich, now it is “Go Global”.
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