Byte Level Research
 
Web Globalization Report Card 2010


The Best Global Web Sites (and why)



Analysis of 225 global web sites -- from Amazon to Air France to Facebook -- the leaders, the laggards, the best practices




Learn from the best global web sites

Web globalization often leaves people with more questions than answers, such as:
  • What traits are common to the best global sites?
  • What are the most popular languages across all sites?
  • What sites offer the best global gateways?
  • What companies offer local-language blogs and Twitter feeds?
Web Globalization Report Card excerpts

This report, now in its sixth edition, answers these questions and many more. You’ll learn exactly which companies are improving at web globalization ­— and why. You’ll also learn what mistakes to avoid by viewing real-world examples.


A wealth of actionable data

Founded in 2000, Byte Level Research was the first firm dedicated exclusively to the art and science of web globalization. We have worked with hundreds of multinationals and have learned what works and what doesn't work. This expertise is carried over into the methodology of the Report Card.

We devote more than two months to analyzing the world's leading web sites, noting languages used on every web site, as well as studying navigation and localization. This information, along with eight years of historical data, helps companies benchmark themselves against competitive and “best of breed” sites such as Google, Philips, and Amazon. A combination of quantitative data and practical, hands-on advice makes this an invaluable resource for any company doing business across borders.


Who this report is for

  • Web executives use this report to learn best practices and drive changes within their companies based on concrete data. For example, knowing exactly which companies are now using geolocation can help raise awareness and get management buy-in. No other report will tell you which companies are using geolocation now -- and when they added it.
  • Marketing executives use this report to improve the effectiveness and usability of their global web sites. The numerous screen shots included in the report clearly illustrate trends and best practices. The report points out flaws in many of the world's most popular web sites -- and, more important, makes clear suggestions for improvement.
  • Web design firms and advertising agencies rely on this report to upgrade their web globalization skills. This report is easy to read, and the wide range of visuals makes complex concepts more easily understood.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Executive Summary
  • Top Findings, Trends, and Recommendations

Part I: The 225 Web Sites and How They Were Scored

  • The 225 Web Sites
  • Industry Overview
  • Scoring Methodology
    • Global Reach (Languages)
    • Global Navigation
    • Global Consistency
    • Localization
    • Community Localization
  • Methodology FAQ
  • What Do the Scores Mean?

Part II: The Best Global Web Sites

  • The Top 25 Global Web Sites
  • What the Best Sites Have in Common
  • All 225 Web Site Scores
  • Most Improved Web Sites
  • Best Web Sites Under 10 Languages
  • The Laggards

Part III: Key Findings and Trends

  • Languages: How Many?
  • Languages: What's Hot?
  • Global Navigation: The Top 20
    • Splash Global Gateway Usage
    • Flags, Globes, and Other Visuals
    • Language Negotiation Usage
    • Geolocation Has Emerged
  • Global Consistency: The Top Scores
  • Localization: The Top 25
  • Community Localization: The Top 10

Part IV: Industry Profiles and Company Insights

  • Industry Leaders
  • Airlines
  • Automotive
  • Business Technology
  • Consumer Goods
  • Consumer Technology
  • Delivery
  • Fashion/Apparel
  • Financial Services
  • Hotels/Resorts
  • Industrial/Diversified
  • Media/Entertainment
  • Medical/Pharmaceutical
  • Non-profit/Government
  • Professional Services
  • Retail
  • Rental Cars
  • Semiconductors
  • Social Networking
  • Sporting Goods
  • Video Games
  • Web Services




The Top 25 Global Web Sites


Google has emerged on top again, but just barely.
The big story this year is that Facebook and Google finished in a numerical tie. But because Google supports more languages (for now), it edged out as the winner.

Top 25 global web sites of 2010

Moving down the list, there are a number of familiar faces -- companies like Cisco and Philips, Panasonic, and NIVEA. But there are some new faces as well. Samsung jumped up in the rankings due to improvements to global navigation and localization. Kodak, Symantec, and Autodesk are also new to the top 25.

Although these sites represent a wide range of industries, they all share a high degree of global consistency and impressive support for languages. They average 50 languages -- which is more than twice the average for all 225 sites reviewed.

For the full list of 225 companies included in this report, see below...







Companies Included

The report rates the web sites of the 225 companies listed below alphabetically:

Company URL
3M www.3m.com
Accor Hotels www.accorhotels.com
Adidas www.adidas.com
Adobe www.adobe.com
Air France www.airfrance.com
Alcoa www.alcoa.com
Amazon www.amazon.com
AMD www.amd.com
American Airlines (Best Airline Site) www.aa.com
American Express www.americanexpress.com
Amway www.amway.com
AOL www.aol.com
Apple www.apple.com
Archer Daniels Midland www.adm.com
Audi www.audi.com
Autodesk www.autodesk.com
Avaya www.avaya.com
Avon www.avon.com
Bayer www.bayer.com
BBC News www.bbc.com
Bearing Point www.bearingpoint.com
Best Buy www.bestbuy.com
Best Western www.bestwestern.com
Black & Decker www.blackanddecker.com
BlackBerry (RIM) www.blackberry.com
BMW www.bmw.com
Boeing www.boeing.com
Bose www.bose.com
Boston Scientific www.bostonscientific.com
Briggs & Stratton www.briggsandstratton.com
British Airways www.british-airways.com
Budweiser www.budweiser.com
Burberry www.burberry.com
Business Objects www.businessobjects.com
Campbell's www.campbells.com
Canon www.canon.com
Capgemini www.capgemini.com
Cargill www.cargill.com
Cartier www.cartier.com
Caterpillar www.cat.com
Cemex www.cemex.com
Chanel www.chanel.com
Chubb www.chubb.com
Cisco Systems www.cisco.com
Citibank www.citi.com
CNN www.cnn.com
Coca-Cola www.coke.com
Colgate www.colgate.com
Columbia www.columbia.com
Continental www.continental.com
Creative www.creative.com
CSFB www.csfb.com
Dell www.dell.com
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Best Professional Services Site) www.deloitte.com
DHL www.dhl.com
Disney www.disney.com
Dollar Rent A Car www.dollar.com
Dow Corning www.dowcorning.com
Dyson www.dyson.com
E*TRADE www.etrade.com
Ebay www.ebay.com
eFax www.efax.com
Eli Lilly www.lilly.com
EMC www.emc.com
Emirates www.emirates.com
Ernst & Young www.ey.com
ESPN www.espn.com
Estée Lauder www.esteelauder.com
European Union www.europa.eu
evian www.evian.com
Expedia www.expedia.com
Facebook www.facebook.com
Fairchild Semiconductor www.fairchildsemi.com
FedEx www.fedex.com
Fidelity www.fidelity.com
Flickr www.flickr.com
Four Seasons www.fourseasons.com
Freescale www.freescale.com
Fujifilm www.fujifilm.com
GE www.ge.com
Genzyme www.genzyme.com
Gillette www.gillette.com
Gmail www.gmail.com
Godiva www.godiva.com
Goldman Sachs www.goldmansachs.com
Google www.google.com
Gucci www.gucci.com
H&M www.hm.com
Haier www.haier.com
Heineken www.heineken.com
Hermès www.hermes.com
Hertz www.hertz.com
Hilton www.hilton.com
Home Depot www.homedepot.com
Honda www.honda.com
Honeywell www.honeywell.com
Hotels.com www.hotels.com
HP www.hp.com
HSBC www.hsbc.com
HTC www.htc.com
Huawei www.huawei.com
Hyatt www.hyatt.com
Hyundai www.hyundai.com
Iams www.iams.com
IBM www.ibm.com
IKEA www.ikea.com
ING www.ing.com
Intel www.intel.com
InterContinental Hotels (Best Hotel Site) www.ichotelsgroup.com
J.P. Morgan www.jpmorgan.com
John Deere www.deere.com
Johnson Controls www.johnsoncontrols.com
Jones Day www.jonesday.com
KitchenAid www.kitchenaid.com
KLM www.klm.com
Kodak www.kodak.com
KPMG www.kpmg.com
Lancôme www.lancome.com
Last.fm www.last.fm
Lenovo www.lenovo.com
Levi's www.levi.com
LexisNexis www.lexisnexis.com
Lexus www.lexus.com
LG www.lge.com
LinkedIn www.linkedin.com
Loréal www.loreal.com
Louis Vuitton www.louisvuitton.com
Manpower www.manpower.com
Marriott www.marriott.com
Maytag www.maytag.com
McAfee www.mcafee.com
McDonald's www.mcdonalds.com
McKinsey & Co www.mckinsey.com
Medtronic www.medtronic.com
Mercedes www.mercedes.com
Merck www.merck.com
Microsoft www.microsoft.com
Mini www.mini.com
Monsanto www.monsanto.com
Morgan Stanley www.morganstanley.com
Motorola www.motorola.com
MSN www.msn.com
MTV www.mtv.com
MySpace www.myspace.com
National www.national.com
NEC www.nec.com
Nestlé www.nestle.com
Netvibes www.netvibes.com
New Balance www.newbalance.com
Nike www.nike.com
Nikon www.nikon.com
Nintendo Wii www.wii.com
Nissan www.nissan-global.com
NIVEA www.nivea.com
Nokia www.nokia.com
Northwest Airlines www.nwa.com
Novartis www.novartis.com
Novell www.novell.com
NVIDIA www.nvidia.com
OCLC www.oclc.org
Oracle www.oracle.com
Otis www.otis.com
Palm www.palm.com
Panasonic www.panasonic.com
Patagonia www.patagonia.com
PayPal www.paypal.com
Pfizer www.pfizer.com
Philips www.philips.com
Playstation www.playstation.com
Polo www.polo.com
Porsche www.porsche.com
PricewaterhouseCoopers www.pwcglobal.com
Procter & Gamble www.pg.com
Prudential www.prudential.com
Purina www.purina.com
Radisson www.radisson.com
Reebok www.reebok.com
Renesas www.renesas.com
Ryanair www.ryanair.com
Salesforce.com www.salesforce.com
Samsung www.samsung.com
Sanofi-Aventis www.aventis.com
SAP www.sap.com
SAS www.sas.com
Seagate www.seagate.com
Sherwin-Williams www.sherwin.com
Siemens www.siemens.com
Siemens Medical www.medical.siemens.com
Skype www.skype.com
Smart www.smart.com
Snapfish www.snapfish.com
Software AG www.softwareag.com
Sony www.sony.com
Starbucks www.starbucks.com
Starwood Hotels www.starwood.com
Steelcase www.steelcase.com
Subway www.subway.com
Symantec www.symantec.com
TED www.ted.com
Texas Instruments www.ti.com
Thrifty www.thrifty.com
Tiffany www.tiffany.com
TNT www.tnt.com
Tommy Hilfiger www.tommy.com
Toshiba www.toshiba.com
Toyota www.toyota.com
United Airlines www.united.com
United Nations www.un.org
UPS www.ups.com
Vespa www.vespa.com
Voice of America www.voanews.com
Volkswagen (Best Automotive Site) www.volkswagen.com
Volvo Group www.volvo.com
Wacom www.wacom.com
Wal-Mart www.walmart.com
WebEx www.webex.com
Western Union www.westernunion.com
Whirlpool www.whirlpool.com
Wikipedia www.wikipedia.org
Windows Live www.live.com
World Bank www.worldbank.org
Wyeth www.wyeth.com
Xbox www.xbox.com
Xerox www.xerox.com
XING www.xing.com
Yahoo! www.yahoo.com
Zara www.zara.com




Below are the same 225 companies included in this report grouped by industry category:



Airlines

Air France
American Airlines
British Airways
Continental
Emirates
KLM
Northwest Airlines
Ryanair
United Airlines


Automotive

Audi
BMW
Cadillac
Honda
Hyundai
Lexus
Mercedes
Mini
Nissan
Porsche
Smart
Toyota
Volkswagen


Consumer Technology

Adobe
Apple
Blackberry (RIM)
Bose
Canon
Creative
Dell
HP
HTC
Kodak
Lenovo
LG
McAfee
Microsoft
Motorola
Nikon
Nokia
Palm
Panasonic
Philips
Samsung
Sony
Symantec
Toshiba
Wacom


Consumer Goods

3M
Amway
Avon
Black & Decker
Budweiser
Campbell's
Coca-Cola
Colgate
Dyson
evian
Fujfilm
Gillette
Haier
Heineken
Iams
KitchenAid
Maytag
Nestlé
NIVEA
Procter & Gamble
Purina
Unilever
Vespa
Whirlpool


Delivery

DHL
FedEx
TNT
UPS


Fashion/Apparel

Burberry
Cartier
Chanel
Estée Lauder
Gucci
Hermès
Lancôme
Levi's
Loréal
Louis Vuitton
Ralph Lauren
Zara


Financial Services

American Express
Chubb
Citibank
CSFB
E*TRADE
Fidelity
Goldman Sachs
HSBC
ING
J.P. Morgan
Visa
Western Union


Hotels/Resorts

Accor Hotels
Best Western
Four Seasons
Hilton
Hyatt
InterContinental Hotels
Marriott
Radisson
Starwood Hotels


Industrial/Diversified

Alcoa
Archer Daniels Midland
Briggs & Stratton
Cargill
Caterpillar
Cemex
Dow Corning
GE
Honeywell
John Deere
Johnson Controls
Otis
Siemens
Steelcase
Volvo Group


Media/Entertainment

BBC
CNN
Disney
ESPN
MTV
TED


Business Technology

Autodesk
Avaya
Cisco Systems
EMC
Huawei
IBM
LexisNexis
NEC
Novell
Oracle
SAP
SAS
Seagate
Xerox


Medical/Pharma

Bayer
Boston Scientific
Eli Lilly
Genzyme
Medtronic
Merck
Monsanto
Novartis
Pfizer
Sanofi-Aventis
Siemens Medical


Non-profit/Govt.

European Union
United Nations
Voice of America
World Bank


Professional Services

Bearing Point
Capgemini
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Ernst & Young
Jones Day
Manpower
KPMG
McKinsey & Co
PricewaterhouseCoopers


Rental Car

Dollar Rent A Car
Hertz
Thrifty


Retail

Best Buy
Build-a-Bear
Godiva
H&M
IKEA
McDonald's
Starbucks
Subway
Tiffany
Wal-Mart


Semiconductors

AMD
Broadcom
Fairchild Semiconductor
Freescale
Intel
National
NVIDIA
Renesas
Texas Instruments


Social Networking

Facebook
Last.fm
LinkedIn
MySpace
XING
Windows Live


Sporting Goods

Adidas
Columbia
New Balance
Nike
Patagonia
Reebok


Video Games

Nintendo Wii
Playstation


Web Services

Amazon
AOL
Ebay
eFax
Expedia
Flickr
Gmail
Google
Hotels.com
MSN
Netvibes
PayPal
Salesforce.com
Skype
Snapfish
Twitter
WebEx
Wikipedia
Yahoo!

 

 

 


Frequently Asked Questions


Do companies pay to be included in this report?

Absolutely not. We have never and will never accept money in return for inclusion within the report.

How do you select companies for your list?

We select companies based on their inclusion within the Fortune 100 and/or Interbrand 100 as well as their investment in web localization. Companies that do not support at least two languages on their web site are not included in the report, regardless of their revenues. We also make an effort to include smaller multinationals and start-up companies that have developed impressive global web sites. We survey a wide swath of global companies across all major industries to provide a well-rounded overview of the state of web globalization.

What’s the value of comparing companies across different industries?

Web globalization best practices may emerge in any industry. By keeping a broad focus on all major industries, we are able to point executives to those companies and industries that are doing the best job of presenting themselves to the world. While this report compares companies that have little or nothing in common with one another, every company included does have peers by which it can be evaluated. In the end, our goal is to provide a truly global perspective on which companies and industries are the most active and successful in web globalization. Only through casting a wide net do we achieve this goal.

Scoring Methodology

The Report Card analyzed each Web site according to the following five criteria:
  • Global Reach (Languages): The web sites support enough languages to reach a wide global audience.
  • Global Navigation: Web users can quickly and easily find their localized content, regardless of what language they speak.
  • Global Consistency: The web site leverages global templates to support global branding, operational efficiency, and usability.
  • Localization: The web site is truly relevant to the user's locale and culture. Products, promotions, and customer support information is all localized.
  • Community Localization: Content is sourced and/or translated locally via community and social networking platforms.



    About the Authors


    Midge Raymond

    Midge Raymond has co-produced every edition of The Report Card. She has more than a decade of experience in writing, editing, and publishing, having worked with such publishing houses as Penguin Putnam, St. Martin’s Press, Bantam, and Houghton Mifflin. She taught communication writing at Boston University, where she earned her master’s degree in international communication. An award-winning writer, she writes for both print and web publications. Midge is author of the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

    John Yunker

    John Yunker has worked with a wide range of Fortune 500 companies, as both a consultant and employee, most recently as Senior Program Manager at Microsoft. He has authored a number of landmark reports, including The Report Card. He authored the first book devoted to the emerging field of web globalization, Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies, and has spoken at numerous industry events. John is a fellow with the Society for New Communications Research. John is also editor of the popular web globalization blog Global by Design.

    The Web Globalization Report Card is a copyright of Byte Level Research LLC. Trademark pending.




Report Details

Pages: 197
Visuals & Exhibits: 125
Format: PDF


Also included: Please contact us if you would like to purchase this report.



Companies that have purchased the Report Card over the years include Deloitte, LexisNexis, Lionbridge, Seagate, Toshiba, Philips, Apple and many more.


What readers say:

"A great mix of analysis and hands-on advice."
E-services director, Fortune 100 software company

"This report helped us get the buy-in we needed to improve our global web site."
VP, global business development, auto manufacturer

"The language data alone was valuable in deciding what markets to target next."
Marketing executive
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