The world’s best-performing websites

From site speed and the Core Web Vitals to organic keywords and UX, we take a deep dive into the world's most popular sites to rank them on tech performance. Google page experience signals, are you listening?

With over one billion websites in the world, the internet is teeming with pages designed to keep you engaged, informed, entertained and digging into your digital pockets. Whether it’s ecommerce, health, tech, news, entertainment, government or finding out about the best gardening hacks, you can learn so much through screens today.

And with so many domains out there and so much content, it got us wondering about how certain websites perform on the global scale. Thinking about tech SEO metrics, like the Core Web Vitals (CWV), site speed, overall site performance score, referring domains, and organic keywords.

The websites that came out on top are… Cue drum roll…

Rank Category Country Website Total Score
1 Ecommerce Slovakia bazos.sk 47
2 Ecommerce Czech Republic bazos.cz 47
3 Arts & Entertainment Egypt sm3ha.ws 46
4= News Peru elcomercio.pe 41
4= News Italy repubblica.it 41
4= News Austria krone.at 41
4= Ecommerce Poland allegro.pl 41
4= Ecommerce Spain milanuncios.com 41
4= Ecommerce Belgium, Netherlands bol.com 41
4= Arts & Entertainment Argentina, Peru, Mexico animeflv.net 41

To form the top 10 here, we collated the most popular websites around the globe, visiting 58 countries, picking three categories to focus on: News, Ecommerce, and Arts & Entertainment. From there, we put the most popular websites in each of these categories to the test, analysing their speed, CWVs and organic SEO results.

The top sites and UX

Now that we’ve found out the top 10 websites for site speed and SEO performance, we decided to put these ones under the UX microscope, asking a web developer from digital marketing agency, The Audit Lab, Dami Sadiq, to grade them on navigation, design and responsiveness. From top to bottom, here are the results:

Category Country Website Navigation Design Responsiveness Total UX Score
Ecommerce Belgium, Netherlands bol.com 10 10 10 30
Ecommerce Poland allegro.pl 9 10 6 25
News Peru elcomercio.pe 7 7 8 22
News Austria krone.at 8 4 9 21
Ecommerce Spain milanuncios.com 5 5 5 15
News Italy repubblica.it 6 3 4 13
Arts & Entertainment Argentina, Peru, Mexico animeflv.net 4 6 2 12
Arts & Entertainment Egypt sm3ha.ws 3 2 3 8
Ecommerce Slovakia bazos.sk 1 1 1 3
Ecommerce Czech Republic bazos.cz 1 1 1 3

Sadiq found that it was the ecommerce site bol.com – in Belgium and Netherlands – to be the most impressive as the results show: “On all the UX metrics, this site definitely stood out. Navigation wasn’t frustrating, it was clear, concise, and the site overall was easy to view with all the different categories where you could shop around - whether it’s seasonal pages or the latest offers.

“To get a top score, its design needed to be engaging enough as well as integrating with navigation effortlessly. And this one had the best responsiveness rating where transition on mobile and tablets was seamless. All of which helps keep bounce rates low.

“Sites that scored low on responsiveness were a couple of ecommerce sites (in Slovakia and Czech Republic) and a couple of arts & entertainment sites (used by Egypt, Argentina, Peru and Mexico) which were more irritating.

“To keep people on for longer as well as being on Google’s good side (with search signals monitoring how sites technically perform), it’s worth testing and reviewing responsiveness and getting technical experts and developers to improve any issues.”

The world’s best-performing websites in three popular categories

When deciding on the categories to analyse, it had to be news, arts & entertainment and ecommerce. The three main motives when it comes to picking up that laptop, tablet or smartphone. Whether it's shopping for the latest deal, looking up a hit single, or reading all about it, the internet has a plethora of websites for us to navigate. We went through each category to find the most popular sites in countries across the globe to then rank the top 10s of each that are creating the best-performing, tech experiences.

The world’s top 10 news websites

Now it’s time to present the world’s top 10s broken down by the categories we looked at, starting with the news category. Arguably, one of the main reasons why we turn to our screens is to read up on the latest goings-on, locally and globally. So cruising around the continents, the websites that came up shining were…

Rank Category Country Website Total Score
1= News Peru elcomercio.pe 41
1= News Italy repubblica.it 41
1= News Austria krone.at 41
4 News Ireland rte.ie 40
5 News UK bbc.co.uk 39
6 News Norway vg.no 38
7= News Brazil globo.com 37
7= News Kuwait ndtv.com 37
7= News Vietnam vnexpress.net 37
7= News Russia ria.ru 37

The world’s top 10 arts & entertainment websites

Next up, we looked at the arts & entertainment category, as this is also one of the most popular reasons why we spend time online. Whether it’s chuckling at cat videos (yes, we’ve come a long way, but we still can’t get enough of cat content) or binge-watching the latest fantasy series, we are a population who can’t get enough of what the internet has to offer to entertain us. The top 10 sites that performed well in this category were…

Rank Category Country Website Total Score
1 Arts & Entertainment Egypt sm3ha.ws 46
2= Arts & Entertainment Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Mexico animeflv.net 41
2= Arts & Entertainment Portugal pobre.tv 41
2= Arts & Entertainment Romania filmeserialeonline.org 41
5= Arts & Entertainment Brazil letras.mus.br 40
5= Arts & Entertainment Slovakia kukaj.io 40
7 Arts & Entertainment France programme-tv.net 38
8= Arts & Entertainment Austria orf.at 37
8= Arts & Entertainment Netherlands nos.nl 37
8= Arts & Entertainment Australia nine.com.au 37

The world’s top 10 ecommerce websites

Particularly popular during the pandemic, online shopping is also a main reason why people are drawn to browsing the web. From searching for Christmas presents to finding the newest, innovative gadget, treats are just a click away. And the top 10 ecommerce websites in the world that are doing well on Google are…

Rank Category Country Website Total Score
1 Ecommerce Slovakia bazos.sk 47
2 Ecommerce Czech Republic bazos.cz 47
3 Ecommerce Poland allegro.pl 41
4 Ecommerce Spain milanuncios.com 41
5 Ecommerce Belgium, Netherlands bol.com 41
6 Ecommerce UK argos.co.uk 40
7 Ecommerce Kuwait, UAE, Iraq opensooq.com 40
8 Ecommerce Peru mercadolibre.com.pe 40
9 Ecommerce Colombia mercadolibre.com.co 40
10 Ecommerce Greece skroutz.gr 40

What are the Core Web Vitals when measuring websites?

To go into detail before we break down the top 10 websites according to the Core Web Vitals, let’s explain what these are and how they contribute to a site’s performance.

When measuring the most popular websites worldwide, we wanted to score their tech performance. Each website can be rated out of 100 on a performance score that factors in some of the CWVs. The CWVs we measured were LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). So what do all these abbreviations actually mean?

The world’s fastest LCP websites

Largest Contentful Paint refers to a metric that analyses loading speed and how fast it takes for a page’s main content to load. The scoring system is split into three categories: good (green), needs improvement (amber), and poor (red) – this will depend on the time it takes to load to assign it into its related category. So how long a load time will park your website into the good category? The range is 0-2.5 seconds. If your website’s LCP is between 2.5 and 4 seconds, then it will be rated as ‘needs improvement’, and if it’s over 4 seconds, then it’s marked as ‘poor’, where your tech SEO teams will work to improve.

CATEGORY COUNTRY WEBSITE POSITION LCP (seconds)
Arts & Entertainment Vietnam cuddlethehyena.com 1 0.2
Ecommerce Czech Republic bazos.cz 2= 0.6
Ecommerce Slovakia bazos.sk 2= 0.6
News Norway vg.no 4 0.7
Ecommerce Australia ozbargain.com.au 5= 0.8
Arts & Entertainment India, Indonesia, Malaysia hotstar.com 5= 0.8
News Greece protothema.gr 7= 1.1
Ecommerce Croatia njuskalo.hr 7= 1.1
Arts & Entertainment Norway nrk.no 9= 1.2
Ecommerce Italy subito.it 9= 1.2

The world’s fastest FID websites

Then there’s the First Input Delay metric. This is to do with the interactivity of the site and it measures the time from when a user first interacts with a page – clicks on buttons, links etc – to the time when the browser responds to the interaction. Again, the metric is scored into three categories of green, amber and red. The ranges differ though, with it being measured in milliseconds rather than seconds. For the FID to be classed as ‘good’, the time should be less than or equal to 100 milliseconds. If it ‘needs improvement’, the time will fit into the range of 100 and 300 milliseconds. If it’s a poor FID, it will take more than 300 milliseconds for the browser to respond.

CATEGORY COUNTRY WEBSITE POSITION FID (seconds)
Arts & Entertainment Portugal pobre.tv 1 0.013
Ecommerce Australia ozbargain.com.au 2= 0.014
Arts & Entertainment Austria orf.at 2= 0.014
Arts & Entertainment Egypt sm3ha.ws 2= 0.014
Ecommerce Kuwait, UAE, Iraq opensooq.com 2= 0.014
Ecommerce Turkey trendyol.com 2= 0.014
Ecommerce Czech Republic bazos.cz 7= 0.015
Ecommerce Slovakia bazos.sk 7= 0.015
Ecommerce Hong Kong taobao.com 7= 0.015
Arts & Entertainment Kuwait, Qatar 9anime.id 10 0.016

The world's best CLS websites

The final Core Web Vital we measured was the Cumulative Layout Shift, which is related to visual stability. This measures how much the visual layout and content shifts unexpectedly on a page, which of course, you don’t want to be happening too much. It is scored into the same three categories of good, needs improvement, and poor – where it’s worked out by totalling up all individual layout shift scores for every unexpected layout shift that occurs during the full lifespan of a page. If the score is 0, this means there’s no shifting. The larger the number, the more layout shifts have occurred on the page. So, in order for the CLS to be ‘good’, the score needs to be no more than 0.1. If the CLS is in the range of 0.1 and 0.25, then it will be marked as ‘needs improvement’. If the score comes out to be more than 0.25, then the CLS is graded as ‘poor’.

And now with the Core Web Vitals explained, let’s find out which websites were coming out on top for these metrics…

CATEGORY COUNTRY WEBSITE POSITION CLS
Ecommerce Australia ozbargain.com.au 1= 0
Arts & Entertainment Egypt sm3ha.ws 1= 0
Ecommerce Kuwait opensooq.com 1= 0
Ecommerce UAE opensooq.com 1= 0
Ecommerce Iraq opensooq.com 1= 0
Ecommerce Turkey trendyol.com 1= 0
Ecommerce Czech Republic bazos.cz 1= 0
Ecommerce Slovakia bazos.sk 1= 0
Ecommerce Hong Kong taobao.com 1= 0
Arts & Entertainment Kuwait 9anime.id 1= 0

How to improve your website’s Core Web Vitals

If you’ve done your homework and tested your own site – which you can do on web.dev and Google tools – to find the CWVs aren’t up to scratch, then it’s worth putting an improvement plan in place.

Speed

Speed is everything. The difference in seconds – even milliseconds – can cost your ecommerce site money. In fact, it’s been revealed that slow-loading websites cost retailers £60billion. Yikes. If your LCP and FID scores are in the red and amber, then it’s a good idea to try and get back in Google’s good books as CWVs have since been rolled out as search signals to influence website rankings.

It’s best to start with a site-wide audit to view all the pages, as well as producing a Google Search Console report, which will reveal any tech issues. PageSpeed Insights can also analyse your CWVs and overall performance score out of 100. To improve LCP, it’s mainly about reducing the data that gets downloaded on a user’s device, and shortening the time it takes to send and execute the content.

Typically, a page will have a mixture of elements with large images, often banners, carousels, hero images etc. To help with a faster LCP, these should be optimised by compressing the size, delivering in lighter formats, and providing real-time transformations for them to be responsive.

You should also look at reducing server response times, which cloud servers can help with. If a server takes quite some time to respond to requests, this can affect all the speed metrics negatively.

After testing out your site’s FID, you can analyse which pages need attention. Generally, it’s long JavaScript tasks that interfere, but you can find out the tasks that are causing delays through PageSpeed Insights and the ‘Avoid long main-thread tasks’ audit. By splitting up long tasks, this should help improve the metric, but you can also remove or delay non-critical, third-party scripts because these may prevent your own scripts from executing on time. You should also reduce unused CSS to avoid it from blocking the main thread.

When it comes to CLS, some key factors that affect the score are things like loading of fonts. When you’ve got numerous fonts used on a website, with different sizes and spacing, the font loads, it can cause layouts to shift throughout the whole site. Images that are dimensionless can also cause issues. If an image has no specification of height and width, the browser won’t reserve space for it. And when it loads, it can affect poor layout shifts by messing up the original positions.

There’s obviously so much more to improving your site’s CWVs, and there are plenty of quick wins for faster websites you can read up on to improve overall web performance, which will all add to helping your site rank and keep visitors coming back.

How does the UK fare?

After analysing the most popular news, entertainment and ecommerce websites around the world on tech SEO metrics, let’s look at how the UK performed.

Overall, when totalling up all the scores - the CWVs, number of RDs and organic keywords etc. - the UK came in at position 19 with the ecommerce site: argos.co.uk.

Czech Republic and Slovakia came out in joint first place with a total score of 47 for ecommerce sites: bazos.cz and bazos.sk. These sites also came out with the fastest LCP score of 0.6 and had a performance score of 100. Other countries that beat the UK were the likes of Egypt, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Romania – all passing the CWV on mobile and having very speedy sites.

The UK did make the top 10 for other categories though, like the top 10 news and ecommerce sites, but it wasn’t making the top list for the tech CWV lists. Bbc.co.uk helped the UK come in at position 5 for the top 10 news sites, and argos.co.uk came in at position 7 for the top 10 ecommerce sites.

For the top 10 CWV websites - LCP, FID, and CLS – the UK was beaten by the likes of Australia, Egypt, Portugal, Austria, UAE, Iraq, Vietnam – to name a few. For instance, Vietnam had the best LCP website with cuddlethehyena.com. Portugal performed the best in terms of FID with pobre.tv. And for CLS, the top 10 all had the same, ideal score of 0, which included Australia, Egypt, Kuwait, UAE, Iraq, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hong Kong and Kuwait (Kuwait had two different sites topping the list for best CLS with opensooq.com and 9anime.id).

Methodology

The websites chosen are the ones that are the most popular in that category, that's specific to that country (i.e. not typical global-wide ones) from https://www.similarweb.com/country/. E.g. for Canada, under the News category, https://www.cbc.ca/ is the most popular news site.

Websites ranked most popular were taken from https://www.similarweb.com/country/ in July 2022, with the data recorded as of June 2022.

Data metrics were captured on 09/08/22 via https://pagespeed.web.dev/.

The ranking outcome was based on weighted scoring, where CWV passes, speed and overall performance metrics were weighted more highly, compared to general organic metrics, like RDs and keywords. The top 10 websites that performed technically well overall were then graded on UX, broken down by navigation, design and responsiveness to give a total UX score.

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