In 2003, Byte Level Research published a landmark report that rated how successfully companies had developed Web sites for international markets, an emerging practice known as "Web globalization." This report, The Web Globalization Report Card, rated Google as the best site out of 121 Web sites studied.
Today, Byte Level Research published the 2005 edition of The Web Globalization Report Card and, once again, Google has emerged on top. Expanded and improved, the report rates the Web sites of 200 companies across 16 industries. The top 10 global Web sites are as follows:
- American Express
- Procter & Gamble
- Cisco Systems
"With 97 different language interfaces, Google is arguably the most global commercial Web site ever built," said John Yunker, chief analyst at Byte Level Research and author of the report. "But Google is not alone in having built a successful global Web site. From HP to Philips to Skype, we were impressed by the quality of the Web sites at the top of our rankings."
Not all Web sites fared as well as Google. Many of the underachieving Web sites include some of the most visible brands in America and around the world, such as Disney, Monsanto, Nike and Wal-Mart. "Being a global company is no guarantee of having a successful global Web site," said Yunker.
The Web Globalization Report Card analyzed each Web site according to the following criteria:
- Web Site Performance: How quickly does the Web site display?
- Global Navigation: How quickly can visitors find local content?
- Global Consistency: Does the Web site use a global template across all locales?
- Languages and Localization: How many languages does each Web site support? And how in-depth is the content?