What Were The Most Popular Websites in The Year 2003?

You may be surprised to know that Google has not always been the most visited site in the world. In 2023, it was the most visited website by far, having 83.9 billion monthly visits, compared to Youtube with the second most monthly visits at 32.7 billion.

What were the most popular websites from the days of the early internet though? In this article, we’re going to be exploring the top 5 most visited websites of the year 2003, 20 years ago.


Ranked as the 9th most visited site today, Yahoo has managed to stay in the game for an impressively long time considering its launch in 1994. There are many sections of Yahoo today, including Yahoo Mail, News, Finance, and Sports.

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For example, check outthis article from the Yahoo Finance section.

In 2017, Verizon would acquire Yahoo along with AOL paying $9 billion for both of them.


In 2003, AOL was the second most visited site in the world, which was down from when it was ranked first in the world in the year 2000. Unfortunately, the site has not been able to keep up with today’s most popular sites like Yahoo has, and is now the 859th most visited website globally according to semrush.

AOL was founded in 1985, making it one of the oldest web companies still in business today. It was founded in New York City, and its headquarters have remained there ever since.


Launched in 1995, MSN.com quickly became one of the world’s most visited websites as it was the default website for internet browsing on Microsoft devices for some years. It was originally used as an online service and internet service provider, offering things like a custom start page and internet tutorial.

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Today, the site is similar to how Yahoo works, with many different sections to view such as news, entertainment, money, sports, gaming, lifestyle, shopping, health, food, travel, and even an option tobuy a car.


Microsoft.com made up 14% of the average audience reach in 2003, compared to MSN’s 38%. Combining the two, Microsoft would have had over 50% of the global web traffic going through their sites in 2003.

Microsoft was founded in 1975, and has since grown into one of the largest companies in the world. The main site, Microsoft.com, ranks 30th worldwide in 2023.


Ebay has been one of the most popular websites on the internet for decades, and was able to get into the top 5 most visited sites of 2003. Today, they are ranked 22nd globally.

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For those unaware of what Ebay is, it is an extremely popular shopping website where users can list things to sell or auction. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a good chance someone is selling it on Ebay.

Thanks for checking out this article, and we hope you found the most popular sites of 2003 interesting. If you want to compare them to the most popular sites of today, check out this link here that visualizes the top 25 sites of 2023

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