Byte Level Research Announces Best Global Web Sites of 2008

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"The 2008 Web Globalization Report Card" identifies best practices, emerging trends, and the hottest languages on the Internet. Leading global Web sites include Google, Cisco, Volvo, Caterpillar, and more.

Now in its fifth edition, The 2008 Web Globalization Report Card has played an important role in highlighting the very best multilingual Web sites as well as helping other Web sites get better.

This year, the report rated the Web sites of 225 companies across 21 industry categories, analyzing elements such as languages, global navigation, global consistency, and localization.

The top 20 global Web sites are as follows:

1. Google
2. Wikipedia
3. Cisco Systems
4. Volvo
5. Philips
6. Caterpillar
7. Netvibes
8. Microsoft
9. HP
10. Nokia
11. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
12. American Express
13. Adobe
14. Lenovo
15. Xbox
16. Panasonic
17. IBM
18. 3M
19. NIVEA
20. XING

"Google has emerged on top again," said John Yunker, chief analyst of Byte Level Research and author of the report. "Although Google still has room to improve in global navigation, its many Web applications offer an impressive level of global support. For example, Gmail by itself supports more languages than most Fortune 500 Web sites."

New entrants to the top 20 list including NIVEA, Panasonic, and Web 2.0 start-ups Netvibes and XING. This year, the report added a new social networking category, which includes sites like MySpace, Facebook, and XING.

Report Identifies Hottest Languages and Newest Trends
The 2008 Web Globalization Report Card plays a valuable role in helping companies look outside their industries to emerging and established best practices in the field. Here are three of the many findings included within the 185-page report:

  • Chinese found on 8 out of 10 Web sites: In 2005, Chinese could be found on 50% of all sites studied. This year, Chinese is now one of the core languages that companies select when going global.
  • Average number of languages reaches 20, up again: In 2006, the average number of languages supported was 15. This year, the new baseline for companies going global is 20 languages. Due to emerging markets and the expanding European Union, companies are now focusing on languages such as Slovenian, Russian, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
  • Blogs going multilingual: From Dell to Cisco, the report identifies companies that have launched local-languages blogs in Chinese, Spanish, Dutch, and Norwegian.

Scoring Methodology

About Byte Level Research
Founded in 2000, Byte Level Research (http://www.bytelevel.com) is the world's leading authority on Web globalization. John Yunker, president and chief analyst of Byte Level Research, is editor of Global by Design, a publication devoted to Website globalization best practices.

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