How do you get included in the top money making websites? You become ubiquitous.
It is no small wonder that their founders are often shameless eccentrics who have no small ambition to engage with the way people operate, to make lifestyles revolve around their websites.
The goal of these websites has been nothing less than to change the world itself and their strategy involves attuning themselves to people’s needs and desires in order to find and fill a permanent niche.
Here is an interesting list of the top money making websites.
Now it would be to obvious to list these sites only based on revenue numbers, I went a little further and based my listing on their growth speed and prospective value.
Remember this is a list created based on my personal opinion. I´ll do a second part explaining my view on each of these sites. Now these are general type of sites, I also have a list of the top money making blogs
40 Top Money Making Websites
Founders: Larry Page, Sergey Brin
Annual Revenue: $50.2 billion
The best example of a website becoming “ubiquitous” is perhaps the strange case of Google.
The word “google,” which simply means to look something up on Google, was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
For years, Google has been the standard of search engines. Using any other search engine was a telling sign that you belong to a previous generation of obsolescence.
Founders: Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes
Annual Revenue: $5.1 billion
The tale of Facebook is, on the other hand, completely different. It too has had a seemingly bizarre effect on our language: “to friend,” “to like,” or “wall” have all assumed a place in our colloquial talk. But its story is a little different.
It was once cool to use Facebook. Then it became uncool, once everyone had it. You began to hear of people disabling their account for Lent or some other misguided ascetic reasons.
Years later, it has simply become an extension of your identity, for better or worse. It’s assumed that when you meet someone, you friend them and look through their profiles and pictures.
It’s changed entirely the distinction between our private and public lives.
Founder: Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, Jawed Karim
Annual Revenue: $1.7 billion
Before YouTube, we had no control over what we could watch.
Youtube is truly the tube that belongs to the people, enabling us to find the weirdest, funniest, the most horrifying, or the most humane videos that give us a real snapshot into the breadth of human culture.
Founder: Jerry Yang, David Filo
Annual Revenue: $4.98 billion
Yahoo was one of the first web “portals,” a name for websites that bring together information from a diverse set of sources. The point of the portal, perhaps, was to create a miniature internet, so that you would never have to stray away from it to acquire what information you needed. Perhaps it was too ambitious in this respect and was therefore superseded by the calm simplicity of Google.
Founder: Robin Li, Eric Xu
Annual Revenue: $2.36 billion
Baidu boasts the most poetic origin of all the top earning websites. The name comes from a classical Chinese poem named “Green Jade Table in the Lantern Festival,” which speaks of, after searching thousands of times, finding someone in a crowd. To founder Robin Li, this persistent search for the ideal ought to be the philosophy of a search engine, and this perhaps accounts for the great success of the great Chinese language search engine.
Founders: Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger
Annual Revenue: $2.735 million
You probably did not expect a non-profit website on this list, and you probably uttered, “Oh yeah!” upon seeing Wikipedia. This site defied what we thought would be impossible, or at least worthless: to build a reliably informative knowledge-base using anonymous volunteers on the internet.
Founder: Ma Huateng and Zhang Zhidong
Annual Revenue: $4.6 billion
The Western world might not have heard of QQ, but it’s made a huge impact in China. It’s the most popular instant messaging service there, perhaps because it features the cutest penguin mascot ever.
Founder: Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Evan Williams, Biz Stone
Annual Revenue: $140 million
When I first heard of Twitter, my first thought was, “So it’s like Facebook updates, except without the Facebook. Yeah, great.” I should have curbed my skepticism. Twitter has changed the way we construct narratives around our lives by condensing what we say, feel, or think into a series of 140-character musings.
Founders: Jeff Bezos
Annual Revenue: $61.09 billion
You’ll never need to worry about whether you’re getting the best deal. You’ll also never need to go to a retail store again. Heck, you can even get groceries on there. Who knew? Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, can fetch it all for you. It’s like having a vending machine in your house that sells everything ever.
Founders: Reid Hoffman
Annual Revenue: $972 million
Founder Reid Hoffman is a veteran of the social network concept, creating SocialNet.com in 1997, years before anyone had ever heard of Myspace or Facebook. After working at PayPal, he founded the first important business-oriented online social network.
Ok so we have reached the top 10 earning sites mark, I bet you expected most of them to be there…
Annual Revenue: $73.72 billion
Bing has been making a comeback in recent years, after MSN was out-competed by Google and Yahoo. Perhaps this has to do with the collaborative efforts between Yahoo and Microsoft to make Bing into a serious contender with Google. By 2011, Bing had become the fastest growing market share in core searches.
Founders: Arkady Volozh
Annual Revenue: $641 million
Like Baidu, you might not have heard of it. Yet it’s the 4th largest search engine worldwide. It’s also the most popular website in Russia.
Founders: Matt Mullenweg, Mike Little
Annual Revenue: $45 million
Man is a blogging animal. Yet there was Xanga, then OpenDiary, then LiveJournal, then MySpace, then Blogger, etc. But WordPress has been the definitive blogging platform—nay, not merely a blogging platform but essentially a flexible content management system that is user-friendly to both novice and experts.
Founders: Pierre Omidyar
Annual Revenue: $14.07 billion
The world’s largest thrift store, pawn shop, vintage dealer, antique market, used record store, etc., etc.
Annual Revenue: $482 million
Sina Weibo is China’s response (or copy?) of Twitter. Users post with a 140-character limit, add hashtags, follow other users, with many celebrity accounts.
Founders: Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer
Annual Revenue: $73.72 billion
We all know the story of Microsoft, titan of the computer world, crushing every competitor with its little toe. Yet for everything there is an ebb and flow, and Microsoft soon lost its hold on every soul to Apple. Of course, I kid, but Microsoft does seem a little out of place here. Maybe they’re including Windows Update in the results.
Founders: David Karp
Annual Revenue: $13 million
Are hipsters taking over the world? If so, then Tumblr is living proof of it. The most stylish of the blogging platforms, Tumblr is a repository for witty, self-styled intellects who post fake vintage photos of their dreary, post-capitalist lives.
Founders: Dmitry Grishin, Alexey Krivenkov, Michael Zaitsev, Eugene Goland
Annual Revenue: $515 million
Mail.ru is Russia’s largest free e-mail service. It superseded Gmail because it’s one letter shorter and therefore saved millions of hours of lost productivity.
Founders: Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp, Ben Silbermann
Annual Revenue: $45 million
One of the great surprises of recent times, Pinterest is a global pin-board of recipes, crafts, photos, and other fantastic discoveries.
Founders: Ken Howery, Max Levchin, Elon Musk, Luke Nosek, Peter Thiel
Annual Revenue: $5.6 billion
PayPal made it safe(r) to shop online. Next: BitCoin?
Now, Paypal is this far down on the top 20 money making websites, but not because of its revenue, I leave it up to you to guess why this is…
Founders: Garrett Gruener, David Warthen
Annual Revenue: $2.8 billion
Does anybody remember Jeeves, the old Sherlock that accompanied every search you made on Ask.com? I loved Jeeves when I was 8 years old, but now I’m baffled by their success. Could it really be that their annoying toolbar that’s sneakily packaged with every Java update is working?
Founders: Col Needham
Annual Revenue: $ 364.3 billion
IMDB is a no-nonsense website. It’s a movie database on the internet on every film ever made. No matter how bad your film is, IMDB will find it.
Founders: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne
Annual Revenue: $156.5 billion
Apple is the great American company. It has a signature product line, instantly recognizable across the globe. It came back from the embarrassing depths of tech-obscurity to become lord of it all. May they be inspiring tale for all to remember.
Founders: Craig Newmark
Annual Revenue: Unknown
Craigslist might be the underbelly of this list of top earning websites. It’s so bleakly designed it reeks of cynicism. The company doesn’t disavow this portrayal. Rather, it acknowledges itself as a site of real art and poetry. The poetry of seedy encounters and fraud.
Founders: Jim Kimsey
Annual Revenue: $2.2 billion
America Online was once a giant blob that threatened to eat up the internet. The most complete portal there ever was, it never wanted you to ever leave its grasp. On top of a search engine, it had its own chat rooms, IM service, games room, even what resembled an operating system of its own! Then things got tough with the merger with Time-Warner and competing with all the websites emerging with the dot-com bubble. It was once a paradise; now it’s an artifact.
Founders: Ted Turner
Annual Revenue: $322.5 million
CNN is a historical institution, the first 24-hour news channel. They embraced the world wide web revolution to become a top earning website early on, but they’re being challenged by new-comers such as Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and emerging news blogs.
Annual Revenue: $300 million
You’ve probably seen adf.ly, bit.ly, or TinyURL on any one of the social networks that you use. Adf.ly is a popular URL shortening service that lets you avoid long, clumsy URL’s.
Founders: Jack Ma
Annual Revenue: $4.1 million
Alibaba is a Chinese trading platform for small businesses. It supplies bulk orders of everything from electronics to apparel to crude oil.
29. Huffington Post
Founders: Arianna Huffington
Annual Revenue: $27.9 million
Founded by Arianna Huffington in 2005, Huffington Post was originally a small news blog site with a small slate of political and social commentary contributors. It allowed comments for each of their columns, and it soon built a strong community. Huffington Post became enormously popular, leading AOL to purchase the site in 2011.
Founders: Scott Kurnit
Annual Revenue: $25.4 million
One of the most notorious, albeit quite useful, content farms on the web, About.com consists of articles with practical applications written and maintained by freelance writers.
Founders: Alan Schaaf
Annual Revenue: $1 million
Imgur responded to the demand from message board and IM users for an easy online photo-sharing service. No registration is required. You drag your photo onto their website. Imgur uploads it. You get a link. The simplicity of their service made it an instant hit.
Founders: Benjamin Bejbaum, Oliver Poitrey
Annual Revenue: $50 million
DailyMotion is the second-largest video-sharing site on the web. Like all legendary startups, it was founded by Benjamin Bejbaum and Oliver Poitrey out of their living room. Based out of France, DailyMotion is popular internationally, but less so in the United States, where YouTube continues to dominate the market.
Founders: Bill Rasmussen, Scott Rasmussen, Ed Eagen
Annual Revenue: $3.3 billion
ESPN exerted its force on broadcast media by establishing itself as the only name-brand, 24-hour sports network. It expanded its presence online, where it keeps its hold on sports fans all over the world.
Founders: Henry Jarvis Raymond, George Jones
Annual Revenue: $100 million
The news leader detected the threat of the internet to print journalism and adapted quickly. It maintains a strong web presence despite its subscription fee.
Founders: Bob Parsons
Annual Revenue: $1.14 billion
Remember GeoCities? GoDaddy is the modern equivalent. It’s a simple, name-brand web hosting service that mainly caters to small websites that require low maintenance.
Founders: Courtney Rosen
Annual Revenue:$86.2 million
eHow is a large compendium of how-to articles that range from the simple, such as “How To Use a Can Opener,” to the complex, like “How to Replace Capacitors in an Antique Radio,” to the downright weird, like “How to Eat Roadkill.” Frequently described as a content mill, it never ceases to be entertaining or, in some cases, actually useful.
Founders: Zack Klein, Jake Lodwick
Annual Revenue: $5 million
There was already YouTube, but Vimeo nonetheless found a niche for itself by catering to young artists and indie filmmakers. It is also popular among established artists.
Founders: Scott Jarkoff, Matt Stephens, Angelo Sotira
Annual Revenue: $10 million
DeviantArt is an online petri dish for bad art. No, I kid: it’s that and also an online community which centers on user-submitted artwork and design. There’s a great deal of interesting work here, from Flash animations to photography to skins for applications or mods of operating systems. It is a uniquely diverse exposition of many styles, many genres, and many voices.
Founders: Drew Houston
Annual Revenue: $240 million
After many attempts from many companies to implement an easy-to-use cloud storage service, Dropbox became a leading name. It syncs your data automatically in a folder that operates just like a system folder. And if you’re not at one of your devices, you can retrieve your data online.
Founders: Steve Huffman, Alexis Ohanian
Annual Revenue: $10.5 million
Reddit is described as a social news and entertainment website, but what really made its name is its capacity to generate hype and memes. It is a symbol for the capacity for information to be globally explosive.
There is some overlap in this list. For instance, there are a number of search engines and video hosting websites that offer similar, if not indistinguishable, services. Yet each of these sites has made a tremendous impact on our lives, whether by providing for important demands, by connecting us to other people, or even by giving us a voice to speak. These top earning websites are known to us not because they give us something that is tremendously valuable or powerful, and that is the key feature of a website that’s here to stay.
What do you think about this list? go ahead and speak your mind in the comments below. Share the love!