The Top 20 Most Popular Websites: 1996 to the Present [INFOGRAPHIC]

From 1996 to 2002, AOL was the most popular website on the Internet. At the end of 2013, it surprisingly hadn’t fallen too far away from the top echelons of the Internet’s many websites – placing right behind Facebook in the top five. In a recent infographic published by The Washington Post, the top 20 most popular websites each year between 1996 and 2013 were ranked using data from Comscore. Color-coded and mapped out throughout the years, we get a good look at how certain websites slowly (or quickly) rose or fell in popularity.

The data presented in the infographic reflects traffic to the respective listed sites per December of every year from 1996 to 2013. You can take a look at the breakdown of the data yourself, but there are some notable observations. Firstly, it’s surprising to see that Yahoo has consistently placed in the top three spots throughout the years. Secondly, from 2001 to 2002, Google jumped from mid-tier to top five; it took Facebook four years to get from bottom-tier to top five. Lastly, The New York Times website disappeared completely in 2012 and 2013 – which is indicative of the struggles of traditional media in the digital age.



Did you find this article helpful? Click on one of the following buttons
We're so happy you liked! Get more delivered to your inbox just like it.

We're sorry this article didn't help you today – we welcome feedback, so if there's any way you feel we could improve our content, please email us at

Written by:
Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.
Explore More See all news
Back to top
close Building a Website? We've tested and rated Wix as the best website builder you can choose – try it yourself for free Try Wix today