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Google, Facebook and Baidu crowned world's most successful 'Internet empires'

The Oxford Internet Institute believes we're living in an Age of Internet Empires, and to drive home that point, the group has charted out the most popular websites on a country-by-country basis.

Using recent Alexa web traffic data, the Institute figured out each country's most popular websites and collected the information into colour-coded maps.

Unsurprisingly, Google and Facebook are the top two global conquerors with reaches spanning 62 and 50 countries, respectively. Google's grip is concentrated in North America, Europe, and Australia while Facebook is king in Spanish-speaking countries and the Middle East.

Trailing them are more region-specific sites mostly confined to their homelands like Chinese search engine Baidu, Yahoo Japan, Palestinian newspaper The Al-Watan Voice, and Russian search engine Yandex.

Asian sites in general put up the most resistance to American web hegemony. Everywhere else though, the only parts of the globe not carved up by Eric Schmidt and Mark Zuckerberg are the sections of sub-Saharan Africa with too few Internet users to report.

Digging deeper into the data reveals that Google comes out on top in more than one section. Even on Facebook's turf, Google or its subsidiary YouTube tend to be the second most visited site.

Ultimately, with over one billion users, the Institute estimates that Google has claimed about half of the Internet population. Thanks to its dominance in population-dense China and South Korea, Baidu actually comes in second with half a billion users, followed by Facebook with 280 million.

For more information on the Internet empires of our time, including more detailed maps, check out the full report. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.