The beauty of the internet is its expansiveness. You can find anything on the web. And we mean anything. However, just because you can visit any one of the more than 1.5 billion websites currently active doesn't mean you do. In fact, despite all of this choice, most of us probably stick to the same core websites, visiting them over and over again, and turning them into internet powerhouses as we do.
Looking at the most popular websites of the year gives us a look into what the internet is primarily being used for, helping us better understand the role it has assumed in our lives and what it might look like moving forward.
The appearance of many of the sites on this list will not come as much of a surprise. Still, while you can probably guess the top five or even ten sites on this list, once we get outside that initial group, you may be surprised to see the immense popularity of certain sites. Read on to find out which sites are the most popular in 2020.
The 15 Most Visited Sites in the World and the United States (2022)
Below you will find the most visited sites of 2020 ranked by their monthly global traffic. For those interested in learning how popular these sites are in just the US market, we've also indicated where each site ranks in the United States.
- Monthly global visitors; 8.564 billion
- Monthly US visitors: 1.625 billion
- US Rank: 1
As the go-to website for video entertainment for people worldwide, it should come as no surprise that YouTube.com is the most visited site in the United States and in the world.
To give you an idea of just how popular YouTube is, consider that around 500 hours of video are uploaded to the website every minute. More than 1 billion videos are viewed on any given day.
However, while we're all aware that YouTube videos can be silly and pointless at times, the site has managed to become quite the knowledge resource. Over half of all YouTube users visit the site to learn how to do something they've never done before, which is a clear reminder of the educational promise the internet offers.
- Monthly global visitors: 3.483 billion
- Monthly US visitors: 512 million
- US Rank: 4
Most of you will not be surprised to see that Facebook, the world's largest social media platform, comes in as the second most visited site globally. It's a bit further down the list in the United States, but not much - it ranks fourth.
According to a study by SimilarWeb, the average person spends around 58 minutes per day on Facebook, yet another indicator of its popularity. And Facebook has also done an excellent job capitalizing on its popularity; its current market value is upwards of $750 billion.
The social media company has been under fire lately for issues related to how it regulates content published on its site and how it deals with competition and personal data. All of these issues could hurt its popularity in the coming years. But for now, Facebook is one of the most popular websites in the world, and we suspect it will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
- Monthly global visitors: 2.223 billion
- Monthly US visitors: 1.032 billion
- US Rank: 2
Once laughed at as an unreliable source of information on the web, Wikipedia has grown into a powerful internet force. The English version of the site - en.wikipedia.org - is the third most popular website in the world and the second most popular in the United States. Interestingly, along with YouTube, it's the second of two sites in the US receiving more than one billion visitors per month.
The vast majority of Wikipedia's traffic comes from organic search; the site is frequently the first, second, or third hit on Google search results for popular topics ranging from people and places to events and more. Many still shy away from calling it 100 percent reliable, but it's clear that people trust and like Wikipedia. As the site grows in popularity, it's credibility will only grow as well.
- Monthly global visitors: 2.008 billion
- Monthly US visitors: 535 million
- US Rank: 3
Another social media giant, Twitter, is the fourth most popular website in the world and the third most popular site in the United States, edging out Facebook in terms of the total number of visitors. However, around the world, Facebook has a little more than a billion more monthly visitors.
However, despite rivaling Facebook in terms of how many people visit the site monthly, it lags behind its competitor in many key areas, mainly time spent on the site. The average user spends just one minute on Twitter per day compared to the 58 spent on Facebook. A big part of this is due to the nature of Twitter - it's meant to be a place to digest information quickly.
This decreased engagement has hurt the site's ability to keep up with its competition in terms of revenue. The site is reportedly worth "just" $29 billion, which is just a fraction of Facebook's worth, and a big part of this is because Twitter did not manage to turn a profit until 2018, twelve years after it launched into the mainstream.
- Monthly global visitors: 618 million
- Monthly US visitors: 492 million
- US Rank: 5
As one of the world's largest, most valuable companies, it's not in the least bit shocking to see Amazon.com rank at the top of both the global and US lists.
The eCommerce giant controls a massive amount of the online retail industry - 38 percent, to be exact, a lot for one company to control in an enormous market - and this number is expected to grow in the coming years. The company uses its subscription service - Amazon Prime - to also boost its popularity as this not only gives users access to fast, cheap shipping and discounts but also music and videos.
Interestingly, 79 percent of the traffic to Amazon.com comes from the United States, but this traffic is so massive that it still propels Amazon to be the fifth most visited website worldwide. However, we must remember that Amazon also has lots of country-specific websites, such as Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.es, and so on, which take away from the mother site's popularity but point to the massive influence of the eCommerce mega-company started and run by Jeff Bezos.
- Monthly global visitors: 594 million
- Monthly US visitors: 68 million
- US Rank: 17
The Android app store is the sixth most popular site in the entire world, with 594 million monthly visitors, but it's just the 17th most visited site in the United States; around 68 million Americans visit play.google.com each month.
Currently, there are more than 3 million apps available for download on Google Play, with more than 2.8 million offered for free. Sensor Tower did a study and found that some 250 million apps are downloaded daily, which is a massive number that helps explain why Google Play is one of the top ten most visited sites in the world.
- Monthly global visitors: 525 million
- Monthly US visitors: 96 million
- US Rank: 12
A massively popular social media site focused on helping people share photos and videos, the "gram" sees around 525 million monthly visitors from around the world, including 96 million from the US alone.
Users spend around 53 minutes per day on Instagram, which makes it second only to Facebook in terms of the amount of time people dedicate to the platform. It's currently the most popular social media platform amongst teens in the United States, though it may soon have to give way to TikTok.
Unlike Twitter, Instagram has managed to make use of its popularity to earn money. Estimates indicate the site will make around $12.32 billion just in ad revenue in 2020. But a big part of this likely has to do with the fact that Instagram is part of Facebook, meaning it has probably benefited from the business strategies and tactics that turned its parent company into the giant it is.
Of course, that the same company owns these two sites is concerning, for it means two of the world's ten most popular websites are controlled by one entity.
- Monthly global visitors: 420 million
- Monthly US visitors: 160 million
- US Rank: 10
Yet another social media site to make it into the top ten, Pinterest is one of the most popular websites in both the United States and the world. There have been more than 200 billion Pinterest "pins" - the term the site uses for "share" or "like," and the site is estimated to be worth a little more than 13 billion dollars.
Once again, despite being one of the most visited sites in the US, this is another web page that does not rely solely on the US market. It's likely the single largest market segment - around 38 percent of Pinterest's traffic comes from the United States.
- Monthly global visitors: 419 million
- Monthly US visitors: 20 million
- US Rank: 74
If you looked at this website's name and thought, "what's this?" don't worry, you're not alone. If we told you it was the shorthand version of outlook.live.com - meaning it redirects to Microsoft Outlook - then things will probably become a bit clearer.
Interestingly, despite being the ninth most visited website globally, it's just the 74th most popular website in the United States, mainly because Americans prefer Gmail. That said, the site still gets 20 million monthly visitors from the United States, accounting for 5 percent of its total traffic.
- Monthly global visitors: 389 million
- Monthly US visitors: 168 million
- US Rank: 8
That IMDB - the International Movie Database - makes it into the top ten both in the United States and the world speaks to the popularity of movies in modern culture. The site is one-stop shopping for all things movies, providing information not only on the films themselves but also actors, directors, producers, and more.
Also, users can see reviews of films provided by other users and professional critics, and they can also purchase tickets to showings at nearby theaters. The site is available in multiple languages, which helps make it so accessible and is a big reason it is so popular.
- Monthly global visitors: 308 million
- Monthly US visitors: 168 million
- US Rank: 9
Fandom describes itself as a "global entertainment media brand powered by fan passion." It aims to present information about all aspects of popular culture in one place so people can explore and contribute to their favorite forms of media. And it seems to have succeeded in doing this. According to the site, it represents more than 400 different pop culture communities. With more than 300 million monthly visitors, this strategy has helped propel the site to being one of the most visited in the entire world.
- Monthly global visitors: 278 million
- Monthly US visitors: 184 million
- US Rank: 7
Considered "the front page of the internet, "it's hard to imagine a topic that isn't discussed in-depth on Reddit, which is essentially a forum for people to talk about anything they please with like-minded individuals from around the globe. In general, Reddit is a US-specific site with 66 percent of its traffic coming from the United States. This plus its near-100 million visitors from the rest of the globe make it the 12th most visited site in the world.
To give you an idea of how expansive Reddit is as a website, consider that more than 150 million pages are viewed every day, there are some 40 million searches and around 1.7 billion comments.
- Monthly global visitors: 217 million
- Monthly US visitors: 58 million
- US Rank: 21
Apple.com is the only website on this list of the top 15 that is nothing more than a company website. It doesn't provide any content other than relating to the products it sells, and outside of its support pages, there isn't much of an attempt to create a "community" or "network" as we see with the other sites on this list.
However, all this does is remind us how powerful Apple is as a company, doing nothing more than selling its own products. Apple.com is the 13th most visited website in the world and the 21st most visited in the United States.
- Monthly global visitors: 215 million
- Monthly US visitors: 37 million
- US Rank: 36
Ever since Netflix started doing streaming videos in 2007, it has become a sensation, taking over the world of video entertainment and changing it forever. The company now has more than 167 million subscribers, 23 percent of which watch Netflix at least once per day. One thing worth noting is that more than two-thirds of Netflix subscribers live outside the United States, which would help account for the fact that it's the 14th most-visited site in the world but the 36th in the US.
- Monthly global visitors: 206 million
- Monthly US visitors: 30 million
- US Rank: 48
The default home page for those using Microsoft internet browsers, MSN rounds out our list of the top fifteen most-visited sites in 2020. However, it's difficult to know how much of this traffic comes from people actively seeking out the site, or whether the majority of the traffic comes from the fact that people are directed there whenever they open either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge. No matter what the cause, the result is the same, MSN is one of the world's most popular websites.
Below are the rest of the websites that made it onto the most-visited sites of 2020 list.
One stand out is Yelp, which sees around 189 million visitors from the US, making it the sixth most visited site, but just 6 million from other countries, plunging it to 18th on the worldwide ranking. This is also another example of the power of the US market.
Another retailer makes it onto this list - Walmart.com - but the rest are either news and information, social networking sites, or eCommerce marketplaces. Take a look at the complete list.
Looking at which sites have been the most visited in 2022, it's clear that people worldwide prefer to use the internet to learn about the world and communicate with one another. And when they're not using it for one of these purposes, the chances are that they are out shopping.
As we move forward, many of these sites will remain the most visited, though there may be some shifting among top performers. You never know when a new site will emerge and capture the public's attention. When it does, we'll be there to update you so you can stay abreast of all the latest news about the web.