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Top ten global websites in January: Chinese-language sites growing

Facebook was the most visited website throughout the world across the month of January, while the growing presence of Chinese internet users has boosted Chinese-language sites, placing both Baidu and QQ in the top ten, according to Google's Ad Planner.

Ad Planner helps companies track which websites are the most visited within certain demographics in order to help companies target their advertisements. Google itself is excluded from the data results.

The data for the month of January, released this week, shows that across all countries the top two websites were social network Facebook and video sharing service YouTube.

The top two sites in China were search engine baidu.com and instant messaging site qq.com; across all geographical regions these sites ranked sixth and ninth, respectively.

Three other Chinese sites - entertainment portal sina.com.cn, auction site taobao.com and video sharing site youku.com - ranked just outside of the top ten, in 11th, 12th and 13th place, respectively.

The big surprise in the rankings is the absence of online retailer amazon.com. Though the site and its regional subsidiaries appeared in several geographic-specific searches, it was missing from the overall rankings.

According to Google Ad Planner, the top ten sites (excluding Google) ranked by audience reach across all demographics and geographical regions for the month of January are:

01.  Facebook (social networking)
02.  Youtube  (video sharing)
03.  Yahoo  (search engine/email/news)
04.  live.com - Windows Live (email provider, search engine, instant messaging)
05.  msn.com (instant messaging)
06.  baidu.com (Chinese search engine)
07.  blogspot.com (blogging site)
08.  microsoft.com (software)
09.  qq.com (Chinese language instant messaging)
10.  bing.com (search engine)

Daily rankings of the world's biggest sites by internet information company Alexa.com lists, as of February 16, the biggest websites in the world as:

01.  Google
02.  Facebook
03.  YouTube
04.  Yahoo
05.  Windows Live
06.  blogger.com (blogging tool)
07.  Wikipedia 
08.  baidu.com
09.  Twitter (micro-blogging site)
10.  qq.com