Visitors outside US

Report identifies Wikipedia as a leader in non-US traffic

A new report last week from traffic analysis firm comScore showed that among the busiest sites on the Web, Wikipedia is one of the leaders in drawing its traffic from outside the United States. The report had Wikipedia tied with Google for the highest percentage of unique visitors from outside the US.

Both Wikipedia and Google have 79.8% of their visitors coming from outside the US, according to comScore. Previous evidence has shown that in a number of countries, Wikipedia's popularity is even greater than in the US. For example, Alexa indicates that Wikipedia is the 9th-most-popular site in the US, but 4th in Germany. However, this is one of the first systematic external analyses to confirm the relative strength of Wikipedia popularity on a global basis.

The comScore report, which covers the month of September, studied the top 25 websites in terms of unique US visitors (comScore is based in the US, but has lately been expanding its services to offer reports covering the global internet). Despite the US-oriented sample, 14 of the 25 had more unique visitors outside the US than in, and 12 of 25 had more than half their page views from outside the US.

In terms of the share of page views, Wikipedia came in behind Google, but ahead of all the other sites listed. Wikipedia's percentage of page views from outside the US was at 82.4% (Google had 89.1%). Microsoft, a close third when it comes to unique visitors (79.0% outside the US), was still in third place but further back with respect to page views, at only 75.4%.

Wikipedia was also exceptional in having a higher percentage of non-US page views than the percentage of unique visitors from outside the US. Aside from Google, the only other sites with the same pattern were Lycos (which has non-US ownership) and the Monster network of job sites. Overall, comScore ranks Wikipedia 11th in the number of unique visitors from the US, but 6th worldwide.

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