What Do The Top 300,000 Websites Look Like and How Can You Beat Them

300000 biggest websites

The map above is an infographic of the largest online web properties.

Notable websites are Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Craigslist, Wikipedia, Youtube and others.

What is most impressive is the way that these sites got so large. None of them had any large scale advertising program, and most did no advertising at all. These sites all grew to become industry leaders through viral marketing and word of mouth.

How can you replicate this success? Build an online business that people have to use.

If we take Facebook as an example, they were not the first social networking site, and when they launched MySpace was the dominant force in this category. No one thought that anyone could catch Myspace, but the crafty programmers at FB thought they could provide a better service by allowing users to be verified, offer privacy, security and a safe place to share information. They overcame huge adversity by focusing on university students and offered them an exclusive place to connect and network. Facebook expanded from the university scene while keeping their users trust and by adding features that added immense value.

Facebook was the online pioneer of allowing 3rd party apps, and this created a new online genre of social games. The average FB user spends 20 minutes per day online, and much of this time is spent playing online games. Facebook created a platform that is borderline addictive and nearly impossible to ignore. Some of my friends only communicate through facebook, so by default I must use it to contact them.

I’m not saying that you could or even should try to create the next Facebook, but they are an excellent example of creating a world class website on a small budget.

Here are some statistics about the icon chart

The area of each website icon is proportional to the sum of the reach of all sites using that icon. All canonical versions of the domain name (www, www1, .net etc) used the same icon, only one of them was counted. The smallest icons—those corresponding to sites with approximately 0.0001% reach—are scaled to 16×16 pixels. The largest icon (Google) is 11,936 x 11,936 pixels, and the whole diagram is 37,440 x 37,440.

See an interactive version of the world’s largest websites at nmap.


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17 Responses

  1. What Do The Top 300,000 Websites Look Like and How Can You Beat Them I’m often to running a blog and i actually recognize your content. The top website peaks my interest, as they are direct competitors of ours and we are going to copy their optimization strategy.

  2. The top websites offer a huge array of value to users, and we study them to try to mimic their success.

  3. Whoa this post is magnificent and I love reading about the top online properties. We were looking around for this information, as we wish to build a site using FBML that gets over 1mm uniques/mo.

  4. Actually good design is not a prerequisite for being one of the top websites, having a loyal community is.

  5. Classic listing of the top online websites, boy has this changed from 2000! Most of the properties are different.

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