The top 25 global websites of 2016

Web Globalization Report Card 2016


UPDATE: The 2017 Web Globalization Report Card is now available.

I’m pleased to announce the publication of the 2016 Web Globalization Report Card and, with it, the top 25 websites:

  1. Google
  2. Facebook
  3. Wikipedia
  5. NIVEA
  7. Nestlé
  8. Pampers
  9. Adobe
  10. Intel
  11. Twitter
  12. Microsoft
  13. American Express
  14. BMW
  15. 3M
  16. Hitachi
  17. Starbucks
  18. Nike
  19. Samsung
  20. Cisco Systems
  21. Nikon
  22. TNT
  23. Philips
  24. Autodesk
  25. ABB

It’s hard to believe that this is the twelfth edition of the Report Card. Over the past decade I’ve seen the average number of languages supported by global brands increase from just 10 languages to 30 languages today.

And, of course, the top 25 websites go well beyond 30 language. Google supports  90 languages via Google Translate and 75 languages on YouTube. And Facebook stands at 88 languages.

But it’s not just languages that make a website succeed globally. Companies need to support fast-loading mobile websites, locally relevant content, and user-friendly navigation.

Notable highlights among the top 25:

  • Wikipedia is far and away the language leader, with content in more than 270 languages. The company also now supports a mobile-friendly layout that is considerably lighter (in kilobytes) than most Fortune 100 mobile websites.
  • NIVEA provides an excellent example of a company that localizes its models for local websites — one of the few companies to do so.
  • Nike made this top 25 list for the first time, having added languages and improved global consistency and navigation.
  • As a group, the top 25 websites support an average of 52 languages.

For 2016, we studied 150 websites across 15 industry categories — and more than 80% of the Interbrand Best Global Brands. Websites were graded according to languages supported, global navigation, global and mobile website architecture, and localization.

Congratulations to the top 25 websites!

The top 25 global websites from the 2013 Web Globalization Report Card

Top 25 global websites of 2013

UPDATE: The 2017 Web Globalization Report Card is now available.

I’m pleased to announce the top-scoring websites from the 2013 Web Globalization Report Card. This is the ninth annual edition of the report and it’s always exciting to highlight those companies that have excelled in web globalization over the years.

Google is no stranger to the top spot, but this is largely because Google has not stood still. With the exception of navigation (a weak spot overall) Google continues to lead not only in the globalization of its web applications but its mobile apps. YouTube, for example, supports a 54-language mobile app. Few apps available today surpass 20 languages; most mobile apps support fewer than 10 languages. has done remarkably well over the past two years and, in large part, due to its investment in mobile websites and apps. While web services companies like Amazon and Twitter certainly do a very good job with mobile, I find that travel services companies are just as innovative, if not more so.

Philips improved its ranking due to its improved global gateway. And Microsoft and HP also saw gains due to their website redesigns, which also included improved global gateways.

New to the Top 25 this year are Starbucks, Merck, and KPMG.

As a group, the top 25 websites support an average of 50 languages. And while this number is skewed highly by Wikipedia and Google, if we were to remove those websites the average would still be above 35 languages.

The companies on this list also demonstrate a high degree of global design consistency across most, if not all, localized websites. This degree of consistency allows them to focus their energies on content localization, which these companies also do well. And more than 20 of the companies support websites optimized for smartphones.

I’ll have more to say in the weeks ahead. You can download an excerpt here.

And if you have any questions at all, just ask.


Adobe launches translation crowdsourcing in China

Facebook has demonstrated that you can crowdsource translations with high quality and rapid turnaround, leading many other companies to ask how they too can leverage the crowd to translate their content.

Enter Adobe and Lingotek.

Adobe has recently begun leveraging Lingotek’s software platform to enable the crowdsourcing of translations within China. As of now, there are 40 volunteer translators in China translating documentation.

Keeping in mind that this is a new and ongoing effort, I recently conducted a Q&A with Lingotek’s CEO Rob Vandenberg.

Here is the interview:

Q: What incentives did Adobe use to get Chinese users interested in translating content?

Adobe takes a very user-centric approach to volunteer translation. Instead of asking users to translate certain material, Adobe provides the content and tools for users to translate what they are interested in. They went to their user groups, and offered community translation as an opportunity. This allowed them to find people who were already interested in translating – whether because they are a reseller of the software, they want to put Adobe’s name on their résumé, or they are end-users who just want Adobe content in their language.

Q: Does the Lingotek platform stand alone or is it integrated into existing Adobe translation systems?

We have worked with Adobe to provide a number of integration points, including:

  1. Providing an API to allow community members to upload documents from an Adobe Flex application.
  2. Providing a version of our leaderboard that could be placed on the Adobe Groups site, as well as an API to get leaderboard data.
  3. Providing a version of our signup page that could be placed on the Adobe Groups site.

Q: How is quality managed with regard to the volunteers. Even Facebook relies on a vendor to ensure quality.

The primary means of producing quality translations in the Adobe communities is to limit who is allowed to participate. Adobe selects project managers who they can trust, and these people are in charge of determining which translators should be allowed to participate.

Q: Are the project managers Adobe employees in China? And are they effectively the gatekeepers for quality?

As I understand it, there is a Community Manager who is the interface between Adobe and the community, but the project management is all done by community members. The translated content is then given to the community, and they publish it.

In addition, the Lingotek platform allows for a number of tools which not only help translators to work faster, but improve the quality of the translations, including:

  • Shared Translation Memories
  • Translation Voting
  • Notes on each segment
  • Terminology tools

Q: How does Adobe get rapid turnaround using volunteers? Are deadlines used?

The speed of translation is affected most by letting volunteers translate the things that they want to translate. In addition, Adobe brings attention to the project managers and translators who have done the most work.

Q: How does Adobe deal with customers who assume that they should not be required to translate content themselves?

Adobe focuses on the users who are eager to help them to translate. They don’t try to recruit general end-users, and I think that is why they have avoided most of this criticism.

Q: Why is Adobe doing this exactly?

The main driving factor is Adobe’s community users are asking for translated content that isn’t in Adobe’s professional translation pipeline. By using Lingotek’s API’s and translation software and Adobe’s existing community to translate content were making new content available to Adobe users quicker and at a much lower price.

Q: How does Adobe license the Lingotek platform?

Lingotek is licensed on a concurrent user basis. We don’t share pricing information.

Q: Is this limited to only volunteers? That is, will the same platform be used not only for documentation but for product/software loc work?

The Lingotek platform is designed to support many different workflows. Some clients are using their communities to provide the initial translation, and then use internal reviewers to do the final review before publishing. Other clients use a traditional assigned workflow, without using community members.  In Adobe’s case, so far they are only using their community members.

For more information, here’s the Lingotek press release.