Byte Level Research


The authoritative guide to emerging trends and best practices in web globalization

The Web Globalization Report Card 2014: The Best Global Websites and Why

Now in its 10th edition, The Web Globalization Report Card is a must-read for marketing and web teams




Learn from the best (and worst) global websites

Web globalization often leaves people with more questions than answers, such as:
  • What are the established best practices in web globalization?
  • And what common mistakes can and should my company avoid?
  • How many languages should my website support -- and which ones?
  • Are there web globalization trends I should be aware of before I invest in a web redesign?
  • What websites offer the best global gateways?
This report, now in its tenth edition, answers these questions and many more. You’ll learn exactly which companies are improving at web globalization — and why. Through detailed website profiles, loaded with screen shots, you'll learn which practices to emulate and which to ignore. An entire section is devoted to the top 20 best practices and top emerging trends in web globalization.


More than a decade of web globalization research

Founded in 2000, Byte Level Research was the first firm dedicated exclusively to the art and science of web globalization. We have consulted with hundreds of multinationals and have learned what works and what doesn't work and, just as important, where their websites are headed. This expertise is carried over into the methodology of the Report Card, the first report dedicated to best practices in web globalization.

We conduct a hands-on analysis of the world's leading websites, analyzing how web designs are shared across countries and mobile platforms, noting languages used on every website, studying local content, social media, and navigation. This information, along with nearly a decade of historical data, will help you benchmark your company against competitive and “best of breed” sites such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Hotels.com. A combination of quantitative data and practical, hands-on advice make this report an invaluable resource for any company doing business across borders.

Click to look inside:




Who this report is for:

  • Marketing executives use this report to improve the effectiveness and usability of their global websites. The numerous screen shots included in the report clearly illustrate trends and best practices. The report points out flaws in many of the world's most popular websites — and, more important, makes clear suggestions for improvement.
  • Web and IT executives use this report to learn best practices and drive changes within their companies based on concrete data. For example, knowing exactly which companies are now using geolocation can help raise awareness and get management buy-in. No other report will tell you exactly which companies are using geolocation right now and which companies are using language detection.
  • Web design firms and advertising agencies rely on this report to upgrade their web globalization skills. This report's accessibility and its wide range of real-world examples makes complex concepts more easily understood.

Table of Contents

  • An amazing ten years
  • The Top 25 Global Websites

Part I: 2004 to 2014

  • The more things change…
  • Language growth
  • From local chaos to global consistency

Part II: Best and Worst Practice in Web Globalization

  • Top 20 best practices in web globalization
  • Worst practices in web globalization

Part III: Emerging Trends in Web Globalization

  • Staying ahead of the curve

Part IV: The Websites and How They Were Scored

  • How websites were selected
  • The websites
  • Scoring methodology
  • What’s changed since 2013
  • Global Reach (Languages)
  • Global Navigation
  • Global/Mobile Architecture
  • Localization & Social
  • Methodology FAQ
  • What do the scores mean?

Part V: Website Rankings and Key Findings

  • All website scores
  • Best in class
  • Languages: how many?
  • Languages: what’s hot?
  • Global navigation leaders
  • Country codes
  • Icons can improve usability
  • But avoid using flags
  • Language negotiation
  • Geolocation
  • Leaders in global consistency

Part VI: Notable Global Websites

  • Selected websites
  • NIVEA
  • Philips
  • Pepsi
  • Starbucks
  • Dyson
  • Emirates
  • FedEx
  • Mobile globalization
  • Ten tips for mobile website and app development
  • Conclusion
  • Globalization Terminology
  • About the Author
  • Byte Level Research Services


The Top 25 Global Websites


Google claims the top spot

Google is no stranger to the top spot, but this is largely because Google has not stood still. With the exception of navigation (a continued weak spot) Google leads not only in the globalization of its web applications but its mobile apps.

Starbucks continues to improve its global websites, adding languages and improving its global template. And it remains a leader in local-language social engagement. Its global gateway still needs work.

Also worth highlighting are the websites of Cisco, Philips, IKEA, and Microsoft -- all of which have become regulars in the top 25 list, and for good reason.

Top 25 global websites of 2014






Companies Included in the 2014 Report Card


Below are the 150 companies and organizations benchmarked in this report, sorted alphabetically:

  • 3M
  • Accenture
  • Acer
  • Adidas
  • Adobe
  • Air France
  • Allianz
  • Amazon
  • American Airlines
  • American Express
  • Apple
  • Audi
  • Autodesk
  • Avis
  • Avon
  • Axa
  • Bayer
  • Best Buy
  • Best Western
  • BMW
  • Booking.com
  • Braun
  • British Airways
  • Budweiser
  • Canon
  • CapGemini
  • Caterpillar
  • Chevrolet
  • Cisco Systems
  • Citibank
  • Coca-Cola
  • Costco
  • Dell
  • Deloitte
  • Delta
  • DHL
  • Disney
  • Dolby
  • Dollar Rent A Car
  • Dyson
  • eBay
  • Eli Lilly
  • EMC
  • Emirates
  • Enterprise
  • Ernst & Young
  • Expedia
  • Facebook
  • FedEx
  • Ford
  • Four Seasons
  • GameStop
  • Gap
  • GE
  • Gillette
  • Goodyear
  • Google
  • H&M
  • Heineken
  • Hertz
  • Hilton
  • Hitachi
  • Honda
  • Honeywell
  • Hotels.com
  • HP
  • HSBC
  • HTC
  • Hyatt
  • Hyundai
  • IBM
  • IKEA
  • Intel
  • InterContinental Hotels
  • Jack Daniels
  • John Deere
  • Kayak
  • Kleenex
  • KLM
  • KPMG
  • Lenovo
  • Lexus
  • LG
  • Loréal
  • Marriott
  • Marsh
  • MasterCard
  • McDonald's
  • Mercedes
  • Merck
  • Michelin
  • Microsoft
  • Mini
  • MTV
  • Nestlé
  • NetApp
  • Netflix
  • Nike
  • Nikon
  • Nissan
  • NIVEA
  • Nokia
  • Oracle
  • Pampers
  • Panasonic
  • PayPal
  • Pepsi
  • Pfizer
  • Philips
  • Procter & Gamble
  • PWC
  • Radisson
  • Ramada
  • Reebok
  • Renesas
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Ryanair
  • Samsung
  • Sanofi
  • SAP
  • Siemens
  • Sony
  • Staples
  • Starbucks
  • Starwood Hotels
  • Steelcase
  • Texas Instruments
  • Thrifty
  • TNT
  • Toshiba
  • Toyota
  • Toys R Us
  • Travelocity
  • TripAdvisor
  • Twitter
  • UNIQLO
  • United Airlines
  • UPS
  • Visa
  • VMware
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo Group
  • Walmart
  • Western Union
  • Wikipedia
  • World Bank
  • Xerox
  • Yahoo!
  • Yelp
  • Zara


  • Frequently Asked Questions


    Who analyzes these websites?

    Report author John Yunker reviews every website — and has done so for all ten editions of the report. No work is outsourced. This historical understanding of each website (combined with one-on-one interviews with many of the executives who manage these global websites) provides truly valuable and actionable findings and recommendations.

    How do you select companies for your list?

    We survey a wide swath of global companies across all major industries to provide a well-rounded overview of the state of web globalization. Within each industry, we include the leading companies with a focus on brand leadership. We include more than 30% of the Fortune 100 companies and 70% of the 2013 Interbrand 100 Best Global Brands.

    What’s the value of comparing companies across different industries?

    Web globalization best practices may emerge in any industry. By keeping a broad focus on all major industries, we are able to point executives to those companies and industries that are doing the best job of presenting themselves to the world. Every company included does have peers by which it can be evaluated. In the end, our goal is to provide a truly global perspective on which companies and industries are the most active and successful in web globalization. Only through casting a wide net do we achieve this goal.

    What companies purchase this report?

    Many of the companies benchmarked within this report have purchased the report for multiple years. Purchasers include Cisco Systems, Deloitte, Panasonic, FedEx, Philips, The World Bank, and Yahoo! There are companies not included in this report that also use it regularly, such as global consulting and IT firms and various government agencies.

    Do companies pay to be included in this report?

    Absolutely not. We have never and will never accept money in return for inclusion within the report. Some of our consulting clients over the years have been included in one or more reports and we have used our methodology to help drive positive change within these organizations. That said, we take pride in creating a report that is self-funded and completely independent in focus, content, and findings.

    Scoring Methodology

    The Report Card analyzes each website according to the following four criteria:
    • Global Reach (Languages): The website supports enough languages to reach a wide global audience. To receive a maximum score, the website must support 43 languages.
    • Global Navigation: Web users can quickly and easily find their localized content, regardless of what language they speak.
    • Global/Mobile Architecture: The website leverages global templates to support global branding while still allowing room for local customization. The website is also accessible via mobile devices, and language parity is maintained with the PC website. Responsive websites and mobile apps are also noted.
    • Localization & Social: The website is relevant to the user's locale and culture and provides functionality on par with the global website. Local-language social media are also supported and well promoted on the local websites.


    About the Conference Call


    A customized call to answer questions and educate

    Included with your purchase is a 90-minute conference call with author John Yunker. He will share key findings from the report and, if your company is included in the report, will share in-depth recommendations. If your company is not included in the report, he will review your website during the call, pointing out best practices and room for improvement. Every phone call is customized to the client's needs and may cover topics such as:
    • Insights into web globalization workflow and staffing best practices
    • Questions to ask before selecting a localization vendor, CMS platform, or design firm
    • Emerging globalization trends within specific industry sectors, including languages, commerce, and cultural customization.

    Onsite presentations available

    Some clients elect to combine the presentation with onsite training and cross-team meetings. John Yunker has presented to dozens of companies on three continents. Please contact him for more information.



    About the Author


    John Yunker

    John Yunker has helped a wide range of Fortune 500 companies improve their global websites and application. He has experience consulting with some of the world's largest companies and has also worked as senior program manager at Microsoft. He authored the first book devoted to the emerging field of web globalization, Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies. John speaks at numerous industry events, including Localization World, Internet Retailer, and the Unicode Conference and has been quoted on global topics in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He is also editor of the popular web globalization blog Global by Design.

    The Web Globalization Report Card is a copyright of Byte Level Research LLC. Trademark pending.






    Report Details


    The 2014 Web Globalization Report Card: Tenth Edition
    Price: $1,450
    Pages: 180
    Exhibits & Visuals: 100+
    Format: PDF
    License: Enterprise

    Download the brochure
    Also included:
    1. A 60-minute conference call with the report author to discuss findings, best practices, and your company's global website
    2. A PowerPoint Executive Summary presentation for sharing key findings throughout your company
    3. eBook: The Art of the Global Gateway

    Available for immediate download




    If you would like to purchase by invoice, please email us. To provide a credit card number by phone, call us at +1 (760) 300-3620.
    Contact us regarding onsite web globalization presentations.


    Companies that have purchased the Report Card over the years include Deloitte, LexisNexis, Lionbridge, Seagate, Toshiba, Philips, Apple, Yahoo! and many more.


    Custom Reports



    Get an in-depth analysis of how your company's website ranks against direct competitors. Even if your company is not included in the Web Globalization Report Card, we will benchmark you against the leaders with your industry (we cover 15 industries). For more information, please contact us.

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