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Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

On Which Internet Web Sites Does the World Spend the Most Time — Including Travel?

From using Google to search for anything that you want to know, to disappearing down YouTube “rabbit holes” and simply getting lost in mindlessly watching a succession of videos, we all spend a large chunk of our time on the Internet. Being able to see what are the Internet web sites which are visited the most every year is interesting — but how long are we spending on these Internet web sites?

On Which Internet Web Sites Does the World Spend the Most Time — Including Travel?

The Internet web sites were taken using data from the Most Popular Websites worldwide by SimilarWeb to discover how long the world spends on the biggest Internet web sites, ranking for the following categories:

  • Most Popular
  • News and Media
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Music
  • Television Movies and Streaming
  • Romance and Relationships
  • Search Engines
  • Social Networks and Online Communities
  • Restaurants and Delivery
  • Video Game Consoles and Accessories

For each Internet web site, both the number of monthly visits and the average visit duration were recorded.

To calculate the time spent annually in hours and years, monthly visits were converted into yearly visits; and the resulting figure was multiplied by the average visit duration in hours.

For the United States, the ranking of the 50 most popular websites in the United States were taken from SimilarWeb; and then, the time spent annually was calculated by multiplying the United States share of visits for each Internet web site by the average visit durations.

The data was gathered in May 2021.

I have been given express written permission to use the maps and the verbatim text from this article from Zyro, which highlights the most dangerous roads in almost every country in the world. While Zyro has endeavored to ensure the information provided is accurate and current, it cannot guarantee it. Neither Zyro nor The Gate accept liability for the information which is presented in this article.

Here’s What We Found:

  • Every year the world spends a combined 422 billion hours on Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Five of the top 10 sites the world spends most time on are search engines: Google, Yahoo, Baidu of China, Yandex of Russia, and Naver of South Korea.
  • Yahoo is the world’s top news and media site, with 5.7 billion hours spent on it annually.
  • Global gaming platform Roblox beat out Twitch to the top spot in the video games category, recording 11 billion visits a year along with 2.9 billion hours.
  • Tinder remains the one to beat in the dating category with 1.3 billion visits and 233 million hours spent on the dating platform each year.
  • When it comes to websites Americans spend most time on, it’s not too dissimilar to the world’s top 10, as Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter still hold the top four spots.
  • The e-commerce giant Amazon is in 6th place in the U.S. with 24 billion visits and 2.8 billion hours spent on the site annually, beating Instagram’s 12.9 billion visits and 1.6 billion hours by quite some margin.

The Hottest HTTP Hangouts

Zyro researched the top websites across several popular categories to see where the world is spending time online.

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The top two news websites have contrasting patterns. The number one – perhaps surprisingly – is yahoo.com, which racks up 5.7 billion hours of the world’s attention each year. That’s the equivalent of 42,700 years squashed into one.

The second-placed news website is South Korea’s Google equivalent, naver.com, with 4.6 billion hours/year. However, the average visit to yahoo.com is 7:46 minutes versus 20:26 minutes for Naver. You can infer that Yahoo gets a lot more visits, but visitors skim the headlines – while Naver’s readers may read the news in greater depth. Indeed, it’s the length of visits to Naver that makes it the tenth biggest website in the world, measured by time spent. It is only number 27 when measured by visitor numbers.

The other big climber, when measured by time rather than visitor numbers, is the Russian search engine, yandex.ru. An average visit of 11:57 minutes swells usage time to 7.8bn hours/year, pushing Wikipedia out of the top ten. Wikipedia is the sixth biggest by number (68,640m annual visits) but racks up an average of just 03:55 minutes, making 4.5bn hours/year.

We Spend a Combined 1.6 Million Years Browsing Google

You can probably guess the world’s most visited websites. But foot traffic alone does not define how much use a website gets. In the realm of the goldfish attention span, the websites where the world stays a while may be more relevant than those we click and leave.

Click on the graphic for an enlarged version. Source: Zyro.
Click on the graphic for an enlarged version. Source: Zyro.

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Google.com is the world’s most visited website, no matter how you count it. Reddit may claim to be the ‘the front page of the internet,’ but the western world defaults to Google when they want to go deeper.

Out of the top 20 sites with the most visits, Google has the second-highest visit duration: 11:58 minutes. Times that by a trillion annual visits and we’re spending 1.6 million years per year on Google’s search engine alone. Google may be a diving point into the internet, but it increasingly provides the answers right there on the home page via snippets and other gadgets – creating a culture of ‘zero-click search’.

The Websites Where America Spends Billions of Hours

Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter: American’s big time-consuming websites reflect those of the wider world. However, Amazon – which doesn’t operate in every country – leaps from 20th to 6th place when only American clicks and dwell time are counted. Americans spend 2.8 billion hours on Amazon each year.

Microsoft Office online is another big climber when only American figures are taken into account. It is the ninth most viewed website by Americans, at 1.2 billion hours annually – equivalent to 25,894 years.

Click on the graphic for an enlarged version. Source: Zyro.

Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Google Analytics defines time on page as the average amount of time that visitors spend on a page, but face it – you’d like your visitors to stay longer.

An engaging website causes visitors to spend more time there. The longer they stay, the more products and information they see. Right?

Sort of. Common sense suggests you want a lot of people to visit your website, and for them to visit for a good while. But the internet – and Google rankings – don’t always agree. After all, there are many reasons somebody might spend a long time on your website – perhaps they’re struggling to find what they’re looking for or need help to make a decision.

Ultimately, the time users spend on your website in absolute terms is not the be-all and end-all. The relationship between dwell time and search engine ranking remains blurry. What counts is whether visitors are spending an appropriate amount of time on your pages and what they do next.

The Top Travel

Before concluding this article, let us take a specific look at which Internet web sites the world spends the most time in terms of travel.

Click on the graphic for an enlarged version. Source: Zyro.

Booking.com tops the list at 382.6 million hours per year; or 7:34 minutes on average per duration of a typical visit — followed by airbnb.com and vrbo.com at 132.4 million hours per year and 73.3 million hours per year respectively.

Summary

I am surprised — shocked, I tell you — that The Gate did not place in the number one position, let alone the top ten on the list of Internet travel web sites on which the world spends the most time.

Joking aside and coming back to reality, do you agree with the lists which are included in this article? At which Internet web sites do you spend the most time?

Mine is — well — The Gate, if writing the articles, loading photographs and images, proofreading, editing links, viewing statistics, and research all count…

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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