Posted on

The top 25 websites from the 2018 Web Globalization Report Card

I’m excited to announce the publication of The 2018 Web Globalization Report Card. This is the most ambitious report I’ve written so far and it sheds light on a number of new and established best practices in website globalization.

First, here are the top-scoring websites from the report:

For regular readers of this blog, you’ll notice that Google was unseated this year by Wikipedia. Wikipedia, with support for an amazing 298 languages, made a positive improvement to global navigation over the past year that pushed it into the top spot. And Wikipedia, due to the fact that it is completely user-supported, indicates that there is great demand for languages on the Internet — and very few companies have yet responded in kind.

Google could still stand to improve in global navigation, as could Facebook.

Other highlights from the top 25 list include:

  • Consumer goods companies such as Pampers and Nestlé are a positive sign that non-tech companies are making positive strides in improving their website globalization skills.
  • As a group, the top 25 websites support an average of more than 80 languages (up from 54 last year); but note that we added a few websites that made a big impact on that average.
  • Luxury brands such as Gucci and Ralph Lauren continue to lag in web globalization — from poor support for languages to inadequate localization.
  • The average number of languages supported by all 150 global brands is now 32.

The data underlying the Report Card is based on studying the leading global brands and world’s largest companies — 150 companies across more than 20 industry sectors. I began tracking many of the companies included in this report more than a decade ago and am happy to share insights into what works and what doesn’t.  

I’ll have much more to share in the weeks and months ahead. If you have any questions about the report, please let me know.

Congratulations to the top 25 companies and to the people within these companies who have long championed web globalization.

The 2018 Web Globalization Report Card

Posted on

The top 25 global websites from the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card

I’m excited to announce the publication of The 2017 Web Globalization Report Card. This is the most ambitious report I’ve written so far and it sheds light on a number of new and established best practices in website globalization.

Here are the top-scoring websites from the report:

For regular readers of this blog, you’ll notice that Google is yet again ranked number one. But Google isn’t resting on its laurels. While many software companies are happy to support 20 or 30 languages on their websites, Google continues to add languages across its many products. Consider Gmail, with support for 72 languages and YouTube, with 75 languages. And let’s not overlook Google Translate, now at 100+ languages.

Google could still stand to improve in global navigation, though I am seeing positive signs of harmonization across its many product silos. But I do maintain the recommendation that Google present a more traditional global gateway to visitors across its sites and apps.

Other highlights from the top 25 list include:

  • Consumer goods companies such as Pampers and Nestlé are a positive sign that non-tech companies are making positive strides in improving their website globalization skills.
  • IKEA returned to the list this year after making a welcome change to its global gateway strategy.
  • Nissan made the top 25 list for the first time. BMW slipped off the list.
  • As a group, the top 25 websites support an average of 54 languages (up from 52 last year); if we removed Wikipedia from the language counts the average would still be an impressive 44 languages.
  • GoDaddy, a new addition to the Report Card, wasted little time in making this list. Its global gateway is worth studying.
  • Luxury brands such as Gucci and Ralph Lauren continue to lag in web globalization — from poor support for languages to inadequate localization.
  • The average number of languages supported by all 150 global brands is now 31.

But as you can see here, the rate of language growth, on average, is slowing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Companies are telling me that they are investing more on depth and quality of localization — which is of huge importance.

The data underlying the Report Card is based on studying the leading global brands and world’s largest companies — 150 companies across more than 20 industry sectors. I began tracking many of the companies included in this report more than a decade ago and am happy to share insights into what works and what doesn’t. Time is often the greatest indicator of best practices.

I’ll have much more to share in the weeks and months ahead. If you have any questions about the report, please let me know.

Congratulations to the top 25 companies and the people within these companies that have long championed web globalization.

The 2017 Web Globalization Report Card

Click here to download a PDF brochure for the report.

Posted on

Go global with .INTERNATIONAL? I don’t think so.

GoDaddy is marketing the new top-level domain INTERNATIONAL.

GoDaddy .International domain

This is one TLD that I can’t imagine recommending to anyone.

For starters, you don’t need this domain to go global. Every TLD is inherently global in reach.

And if you really want to go global, you need to register local domains, as in country codes and language-specific domains.

As I often say: The Internet connects computers; language connects people.

A 13-character, Latin-based domain is not going to get you very far in countries for which Latin is not the native script, like say the world’s largest Internet market: China.

So despite what GoDaddy says, you don’t need “.international” to go international.

Posted on

dotConfusing — What you need to know about the next wave of top-level domains

dotconfusing

My latest post for client Pitney Bowes on making sense of the hype concerning the new generic TLDs.

An excerpt:

The first wave is rolling in
More than 1,200 gTLDs have been applied for so far. You can check the status of each domain online (https://gtldresult.icann.org/application-result/applicationstatus) and learn more about what each applicant plans to do with it. In many cases, applicants are planning to register their brand names for internal uses, such as KPMG and Hermes. But many applicants are registering domains with the hopes of creating a popular and lucrative new source of revenue.

So far, more than 125 domain names have been delegated, including such names as:

  • Photos
  • Guitars
  • Watch
  • онлайн (online)
  • 公司 (company)

My take: Many of these new TLDs are going to amount to nothing. But many will be quite successful and will usher in a new wave of innovations. So anyone who dismisses gTLDs altogether is mistaken.

Link

Posted on

GoDaddy’s new global gateway sets the stage for global growth

It’s nice to see GoDaddy improving its global gateway.

Note the use of the globe icon below to indicate the global gateway menu:

goddaddy gateway

Click on the globe or locale name and you’ll see the following menu:

godaddy global gateway

It’s text-only, easy to read. Simple.

GoDaddy has a long ways to go in regards to web globalization, but this global gateway is a good foundation for growth — which I suspect is on the horizon.

 

Posted on

GoDaddy going global

In this interview with Blake Irving, CEO of GoDaddy, he mentions the company’s focus on expanding global reach:

We’re localizing, globalizing and marketizing our code base which means we’re building software for specific languages and markets.

Take Spanish, for example. It’s spoken differently in places like Chile, Mexico and Peru, so we’ll make investments in currency, payment types, unique graphics and vernacular for each market we go into.

Here are the country websites currently supported:

GoDaddy country websites

Naturally, I’d love to see this global gateway promoted to the header (it’s currently buried in the footer).

But the website nicely uses language negotiation to make its Spanish-language website more discoverable.

If your web browser is set to Spanish you’ll see this overlay when you visit:

Go Daddy Espanol

What isn’t mentioned in the interview is GoDaddy’s support for non-Latin domains (aka IDNs). I suspect that GoDaddy will be investing heavily in marketing IDNs around the world as well.

I’ve long maintained that IDNs have been slow to take off in many markets not because they don’t offer users value but because the ecosystem around IDNs have not been well developed. By globalizing the registration platform, GoDaddy is doing its part to improving the IDN ecosystem.

PS: This is a picky thing that drives me nuts. Is it “Go Daddy” or “GoDaddy”? I see it both ways on the home page. The Wall Street Journal uses “GoDaddy” so I’ll do the same.