Google vs. Facebook vs. Baidu: Battle of the Internet empires

Google vs. Facebook vs. Baidu: Battle of the Internet empires

Summary: A recent Oxford University analysis of Web data shows that in most of the world Google and Facebook are battling it out in the Internet "Age of Empires" -- with Baidu doing well in China.

TOPICS: Networking, Google, China

If you had to guess what was the most popular Website in your country, most of you probably would have guessed Google and some of you might have thought of Facebook first. Depending on where you live, the chances are you'd be right.


A recent analysis of Alexa Website popularity data by Information Geographies at the Oxford Internet Institute found that "Google is the most visited website in most of Europe, North America, and Oceania. Facebook, in contrast, is the most visited website in most of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as much of the Spanish-speaking Americas."

A closer look shows that Google is really the overall global winner. "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 visited website, 36 of them have Google as the second most visited, and the remaining 14 countries list YouTube (currently owned by Google)."

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The biggest exception to this is China. There, the Chinese search engine Baidu is the top site. That's in large part, because Google started pulling out of China in 2010 in response to Chinese censorship. Since then Google has continued to move away from China.

Reporter Catherine A. Traywick noted in Foreign Policy that China's government may be helping Baidu expand its readership by redirecting attempts to use Google to Baidu. Baidu has long denied this claim. Curiously, Baidu appears to be South Korea's favorite Web site as well.

As for the rest of the world, Yahoo has stayed number one in Japan and Taiwan. In Russia, the Yandex search engine is on top.

From a global perspective, "Google is the most visited website account for half of the entire Internet population, with over one billion people." Baidu, thanks to China and South Korea's large Internet population, is second while Facebook comes in third.

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Topics: Networking, Google, China

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  • Japan likes Yahoo!

    So do I.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Flagged? OK, so why do I like Yahoo!?

      Because it's neither Google nor Facebook. :)
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Sigh - Google supporters can't stand competition

        hence the flag. I've been using Yahoo through good and bad. Not too fond of recent changes, but whatever, not that important.

        Yahoo is my old standby. Reliable, not too pretty, but always there and highly reliable even before Google.
  • What is your home page?

    I think that part of this has to do with what people have set as their home page.
  • Korea doesn't use Baidu

    I usually enjoy your posts but this one is just not right.
    Where did you get this image/statistics?
    I have never seen any Korean person using Baidu.
    Koreans use Naver, which has nothing to do with Baidu, as far as I know.
    Steven YM Lee
    • Found it.

      Just look at the comments on there:
      Steven YM Lee
    • Steven YM Lee: "Korea doesn't use Baidu "

      "... we see a puzzling fact that Baidu is also listed as the most visited website in South Korea (ahead of the popular South Korean search engine, Naver). We speculate that the raw data that we are using here are skewed. However, we may also be seeing the Baidu empire in the process of expanding beyond its traditional home territory."
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Don't people who use

    google and Yahoo in China against the restrictions get shot? I wonder why Baidu has the lead there...
    Tony Burzio
  • massive worldwide counting of bing

    I miss you mike cox!
    • Yeah me too

      Sure was funny at times. People in the Philippines love Twitter and Facebook-the celebrities are deeply into those two social media forms and not a whole lot else is talked about.
      • So....????

        I use neither.