The Internet has become very popular these days. Every day, millions of people all over the world log in to their computers and check various sites as part of their routines. Aside from social networking sites, there are other websites that provide people with information related to education, health, and even entertainment. Because of this, there are numerous sites which gather the right amount of traffic and online users, making them popular among advertisers.
At present, there is a company dedicated to gathering web traffic data, more popularly known as Alexa Internet. It is a subsidiary company of Amazon.com that collects data on browsing behavior which will be the basis for the company’s web traffic reporting. It also determines global ranking and information pertaining to millions of websites around the world.
Below are five of the most visited websites to date according to Alexa ranking.
The most popular social networking site by far, Facebook is also the most visited website today. It started in 2004 when Mark Zuckerberg and his college dorm mates in Harvard hacked into the school’s computer network and copied pictures and basic information of Harvard students and compiled it online using the site name “Facemash.” Using the pictures gathered, registered users will be able to rate which between the two pictures is “hotter.”
At first, membership was exclusive to Harvard students. Facebook eventually expanded to other Ivy League schools then to employees of various companies, and later on to various people around the world.
Today, Facebook has become a hub where online users can register for free, create their own profile, share photos and videos, post status messages, as well as communicate with other users through messaging and video calling.
The largest online search engine by far, Google started in January 1996 as a research project by Computer Science students Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Stanford University. In 1997, the two changed the name to “Google” from the mathematical term “googol” or a number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros to emphasize the site’s objective: provide infinite information on the Internet. Upon its incorporation in 1998, the company operated in Susan Wojcicki’s garage and has one employee, Craig Silverstein, and a fellow Stanford student.
Things are different now for Google. The company grew over the years, hiring more employees, moving to a bigger office, and acquiring various companies to widen its network and provide different platforms and services to its millions of users every day.
Aside from the search engine, which is Google’s most popular service, the website also has its webmail services through Gmail, Google Docs which allows users to create and share documents online, translation service, image search, news, maps, and even advertising.
Perhaps the most popular video-sharing website, YouTube started its humble beginnings in February 2005 when 3 former PayPal employees decided to create a site that allows users to upload, view, and share videos, including movie clips, music videos, and amateur content.
According to reports, the YouTube idea started when the three employees had difficulty sharing videos at one of the dinner parties. Its very first video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, entitled Me at the Zoo which shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. Over the next few months, YouTube grew rapidly with thousands of videos being uploaded every day that is viewed by millions of people all over the world. Last October 2006, Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock.
YouTube provides various features related to video technology such as playing and uploading videos. It also allows viewers to watch YouTube videos even without access to the site itself through embedding or the sharing of videos on different social networking sites and blogs. It is available to different countries around the world with 54 language versions.
Also one of the most visited and most popular sites today, Yahoo! attracts millions of online users every month. Founded in January 1994 by Jerry Yang and David Filo, electrical engineering students from Stanford University, Yahoo! is an acronym for the phrase “yet another hierarchical officious oracle.” The website provides various services such as search engines, directory, mail, news, and video sharing among others. It also offers communication services through Yahoo! Messenger and Yahoo! mail, social networking services which include Flickr and Yahoo! Buzz, and is in partnership with various content providers to provide information related to sports, finance, music, movies, weather, news, and games.
The site also has shopping services for cars, real estate, and travel as well as offers mobile services which include email, instant messaging, and mobile blogging. It also has an advertising service, through Yahoo! Search Marketing, which allows companies to advertise their services and products on the website. Yahoo! is available in more than 30 languages with a linking root domain of 1.8 million.
Established and incorporated in 2000, Baidu is a Chinese web service company that was started by Robin Li and Eric Xu. The site offers various services that can help locate various information, product, or services using search terms in the Chinese language. It has a map, a Post Bar, or an online community where people can exchange and share views, knowledge, and experience, News that gives access on what is happening locally and abroad, MP3 search that provides links to music and other multimedia files in .mp3, ,WMA or .swf file format, Image Search which allows users to search for images on the web and Video Search for video access.
The site also has Space, a social networking service where blogs, photos, and other personal information, Encyclopedia, Patent Search that allows users to search for existing Chinese patents and basic information about such patents, Games, Entertainment, Internet TV, Library wherein users can share documents and Dictionary among many others.
At present, Baidu has an index of more than 740 million web pages, 80 million images, and 10 million multimedia files. It also offers Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and PDA-based mobile search.