Learn from the best global web sitesWeb 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?
- How are companies promoting their Facebook and Twitter pages around the world?
- What sites offer the best global gateways?
- What are the best web sites that support fewer than 10 languages?
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This report, now in its seventh 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 dataFounded 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, the first report dedicated to best practices in web globalization.
We devote more than two months to a thorough, in-house analysis of 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, Cisco, and Amazon. A combination of quantitative data and practical, hands-on advice makes this report 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's accessibility and its wide range of visuals makes complex concepts more easily understood.
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Top Findings, Trends, and Recommendations
Part I: The 250 Web Sites and How They Were Scored
- Industry Overview
- The 250 Web Sites
- Scoring Methodology
- What's Changed Since 2010
- Global Reach (Languages)
- Global Navigation
- Global Consistency
- Community Localization
- Methodology FAQ
- What Do the Scores Mean?
Part II: The Scorecards
- All 250 Web Site Scores
- What the Best Sites Have in Common
- Top 25 Rundown
- Leaders of Industry
- Most Improved Web Sites
- Best Web Sites With Fewer Than 10 Languages
- The Laggards
Part III: Key Findings and Trends
- Languages: How Many?
- Languages: What's Hot?
- Global Navigation: The Top 20
- The Use of Visuals
- Wave Flags With Care
- Splash Global Gateway Usage
- Language Negotiation Usage
- Geolocation Usage
- Global Consistency: The Leaders
- Localization: The Top 25
- Community Localization: The Top 25
The Top 25 Global Web Sites
Facebook emerges as number one, unseating Google
Google, which has held the number one spot for years, was unseated by Facebook this year. Facebook’s recent innovations (multilingual social plugins, improved global gateway, multilingual user profiles) gave it the edge.
Companies like Cisco, 3M, Philips, and NIVEA have become regular faces in the top 25. But there are some new faces as well. There are five companies new this year to the top 25: Volkswagen, Adobe, Shell, Skype, and DHL.
Although these 25 web sites represent a wide range of industries, they all share a high degree of global consistency and impressive support for languages. They average 58 languages -- which is more than twice the average for all 250 sites reviewed.
For the full list of 250 companies included in this report, see below...
Companies Included in the Report CardBelow are the 250 companies included in this report grouped by industry category:
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.
Who analyzes all 250 web sites?Report author John Yunker personally reviews every web site — and has done so for all seven editions of the report. No work is outsourced. This historical understanding of each web site (combined with one-on-one interviews with many of the executives who manage these global sites) provides truly unique and actionable findings and recommendations.
How do you select companies for your list?We survey a wide swath of global companies across all major industries to provide a well-rounded overview of the state of web globalization. Within each industry, we include the leading companies with a focus on brand leadership. We include more than 30% of the Fortune 100 companies and 95% of the Interbrand 100 Best Global Brands. Companies that do not support at least three languages on their web sites 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.
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 MethodologyThe 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 Author
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 supporting the globalization of web-based applications. Nearly a decade ago, John authored the first book devoted to the emerging field of web globalization, Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies. John speaks at numerous industry events, including Localization World, Internet Retailer, and the Unicode Conference and has been quoted on global topics in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He 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.