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Map: The countries where Google and Facebook don't rule the Web

Posting in Technology

Color my world. The largest exception to the GoogleBook hegemony (red, blue) is China. Look closely and you'll spot others. Click on the map to enlarge it, or visit the link in the story.

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If you're reading this in the State of Palestine, chances are you've also glanced at the Al-Watan Voice on your screen today.

That's because Palestine is one of the few countries where neither Google nor Facebook rank as the most-visited website, according to a colorful map of the world published by the University of Oxford's Oxford Internet Institute in a report called Age of Internet Empires.

Arabic language newspaper Al-Watan is number one in Palestine, so anybody looking at anything on the Web there such as SmartPlanet will most likely view Al-Watan - just like most Web surfers in the U.S. will veer toward Google during the day.

Google, represented by red in the map above, and Facebook, rendered in blue, dominate the globe. Google reigns in the U.S., Europe, India, Oceania and other regions. Facebook sweeps across North Africa and controls things in Mexico, swaths of South America, chunks of the Middle East, Pakistan and elsewhere.

The best known exception to the GoogleBook hegemony is the huge green blob, also known as China. Baidu rules there, and it also tops the chart in South Korea, which surprised the authors who speculated that data from that part of the world could be skewed, or that "we may also be seeing the Baidu empire in the process of expanding beyond its traditional home territory."

Others who buck the trend? Little old Russia has Yandex to lure people into the Net, and Japan and Taiwan have Yahoo! Kazakhstan keeps things humming with a mail service called Mail.ru.

Which site rocks in Belarus? Why, the social network VK, of course, pictured above in brown, if you can find it.

The cartographers used data from Alexa. For some reason, they didn't assign a color to SmartPlanet. Share this article!

If you prefer old colonial-style maps, this one's for you. For larger version, click on the map or visit the Oxford link.

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Maps are from Oxford Internet Institute based on data from Alexa.

Post updated to include colonial map at around 5:20 a.m. PDT Oct. 7.

— By on October 6, 2013, 8:19 PM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure