serkan AT kantan-games.co.jp

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Japan’s Top 50 web sites

I recently wondered which the most frequently visited web sites in Japan are. There are a number of services which track popularity of Internet services, i. e. Alexa, Nielsen or Comscore.

I am aware that measuring the popularity of web sites is a highly complicated issue and the results are not reliable to say the least. It is not even clear what popularity means: visits, page views, time spent on a particular site or…? Moreover, there is no agreement on a uniform tracking methodology yet. But this discussion is too technical here.

Alexa is said to be more accurate in territories in which English is the first language. For that reason, I chose Nielsen/Netrating Japan’s ranking in the following list. The company released this information in July this year (Japanese only). The Top 50 is based on the time surfers from Japan spend on the site.

To compare and to some extent cross-check the data with more recent information, you can see the rank of the corresponding web site in the Alexa in brackets (accessed yesterday Japanese time). Alexa’s traffic measurement method is a combination of page views and visits.

So here are the Top 50 of Japan’s most popular web sites:

1. yahoo.co.jp (Alexa ranking: 1, my review)

2. mixi.jp (4, social network: my review)

3. rakuten.co.jp (5, online mall with English site, my review)

4. youtube.com (-)

5. fc2.com (2, online services)

6. 2ch.net (12, online forum)

7. goo.ne.jp (9, search/portal)

8. wikipedia.org (-)

9. biglobe.ne.jp (18, search/portal)

10. infoseek.co.jp (10, search/portal)

11. nifty.com (14, search/portal)

12. google.co.jp (3)

13. amazon.co.jp (11)

14. etrade.ne.jp (-, finance services)

15. msn.com (msn.co.jp is 48th)

16. nicovideo.jp (6, video sharing: my review)

17. jra.go.jp (-, horse racing with English site)

18. geocities.jp (63)

19. sakura.ne.jp (15, Internet provider)

20. qweb.ne.jp (-, currently inaccessible)

21. gyao.jp (49, video site)

22. so-net.ne.jp (40, search/portal)

23. livedoor.jp (-, online services)

24. hangame.co.jp (32, gaming, my review at Asiajin)

25. benesse.ne.jp (-, service corporation with English site)

26. ocn.ne.jp (25, search/portal)

27. google.com (-)

28. microsoft.com (-)

29. teacup.com (42, online services)

30. 2chan.net (-, aka Futaba, Internet Forum)

31. daiwa.co.jp (-, securities brokerage)

32. kakaku.com (44, social shopping/price comparison: my review)

33. ameblo.jp (16, blogging services)

34. fm-p.jp (53, home page maker)

35. livedoor.com (7, online services)

36. cgiboy.com (39, online/graphics services)

37. macromill.com (-, research company)

38. excite.co.jp (35)

39. dion.ne.jp (41, now auone.jp, mobile phone company)

40. ecnavi.jp (-, shopping portal)

41. kabu.co.jp (-, finance services)

42. yomiuri.co.jp (62, online newspaper with English site)

43. home.ne.jp (66, currently inaccessible)

44. monex.co.jp (-, online bank with English site)

45. exblog.jp (33, blogging services)

46. asahi.com (77, online newspaper with English site)

47. jal.co.jp (-, airline)

48. matsui.co.jp (-, securities brokerage with English site)

49. xmbs.jp (19, currently inaccessible)

50. nikkei.co.jp (57, online business newspaper with English site)

It is obvious that the Alexa ranking can’t really match with the Nielsen results due to different tracking approaches and times of my accessing the information. It is striking that some popular sites in the Nielsen ranking, i. e. Youtube (!), don’t appear in the Alexa hit list at all. However, Alexa says dell.com is 8th but the Dell address is missing in Nielsen’s list.

The Top 50 should at least be a good estimate of the most popular web sites in Japan nevertheless!

Serkan Toto About Serkan Toto
I am the CEO & Founder of Kantan Games, Inc., a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market. Please subscribe to updates on this site via RSS or Email.