Wikipedia retains its crown as the most visible website in Google search results globally based on its performance in organic search in ten countries, including the United States, UK, Germany and France. Second comes YouTube, which also saw the biggest absolute improvement in search performance over the whole of 2018 in all the countries analyzed. The findings come from Searchmetrics’ annual

SEO World Rankings study

which analyzed search results from ten national Google indexes around the globe to determine the top ten performers in organic search in each country. This allowed Searchmetrics to identify the overall list of five ‘Global Champions’ based on the number of countries in which a site ranks in the list of top ten performers nationally and how highly it features in each list.

Global Champions in Search

These are the five most visible websites across national boundaries:


Global champions. Source: searchmetrics

Why Wikipedia is such a search success story

The sheer breadth of good quality, up-to-date content on so many topics, and the fact that its pages are regularly referenced in links from blogs and websites all over the web - which are viewed by Google as a signal of trust - are among the reasons why Wikipedia has retained the crown of global champion in Searchmetrics SEO World Rankings studies three years running. Importantly, Wikipedia content now very frequently appears in search results pages due to Google’s expansion of integrated search elements, including

featured snippets


knowledge graphs


“Google shows the trust it has in Wikipedia’s content by regularly relying on information from the encyclopedia site when it wants to directly answer searchers’ queries at the top of the search results page in featured snippets and knowledge graph boxes,”

explained Jordan Koene, CEO of Searchmetrics Inc.

“This is all about Google wanting to making it as easy and quick as possible for searchers to find the information they’re looking for without ever having to leave the search results.”

YouTube wins ‘most improved’ status

As well as being second on the list of Global Champions in search, YouTube is the most improved domain in all ten analyzed markets. It demonstrated the biggest absolute improvements in search performance over the twelve months of 2018 in each of the ten regions. This is partly down to the major Google Update in June 2018 which saw

video carousels being displayed in the desktop search results

. The new carousel format, which allows searchers to click and toggle through a larger number of videos, has coincided with a dramatic increase in the number of search queries for which Google includes a video in the results.

“This provides even further evidence that search and content marketers interested in raising their organic brand awareness should consider placing a high priority on video content hosted on YouTube, and ensuring that it’s optimized for search.”

Amazon is the top ecommerce site in search globally

18% of the websites with the most improved search performance within the ten regions that were analyzed are ecommerce sites. Of these, the study reveals that Amazon is the clear leader in organic search across national boundaries. Amazon now has domains listed in the top ten most visible sites in six different national Google indexes:




(Germany and Austria),



Overall Winners of 2018. Source: searchmetrics

Measuring the data

For the SEO World Rankings study, Searchmetrics analyzed the search results data from ten national Google indexes: (Austria), (Brazil), (Germany), (France), (Italy), (Spain), (Switzerland), (Turkey), (United Kingdom) and (United States) The measure of search visibility/search performance used in the analysis is Searchmetrics’

SEO Visibility score

, an index score which quantifies how prominently a website appears in organic search results. It is based on the organic rankings of the millions of keywords that Searchmetrics tracks in each country every week. The calculation for the SEO Visibility score is based on:

  • The number of times a domain appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs) across the keyword set
  • Its prominence within those SERPs (a higher ranking equates to a higher visibility score)
  • The competitiveness of the keyword (higher search volumes equate to a higher visibility score)

To create the list of the top ten most visible websites in each country, Searchmetrics took an average of several data points taken throughout 2018. To work out the five ‘Global Champion’ sites that are most visible across national boundaries, Searchmetrics analyzed the number of countries where the domain ranks in the top ten in terms of SEO visibility, then sorted by no of 1st places, no of 2nd places, no of 3rd places etc.