Is there a website that you can't go a day without checking? Chances are, a few million other people have the same favorite, if web data company Alexa's list of the world's 500 most popular sites is any indication.

Alexa's web stats are updated daily, but its ranking system relies on three months worth of information. The rankings consist of several different criteria including a website's global reach and number of pageviews. "Alexa computes traffic rankings by analyzing the Web usage of millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources," the company's site reads.

We've complied a list of the top 17 most popular sites, per Alexa, and highlighted the following stats for each:

  • Global reach - Percentage measuring the number of internet users around the world who visit a particular site.
  • Global pageviews - Percentage measuring the number of pageviews on a particular site, compared to global web traffic.
  • Sites linking in - The number of links sending users to a certain websites from other, outside webpages.

Since last year, MSN has fallen six places, down from #11, while Twitter has crept slightly up from its #9 spot. Amazon advanced most, moving up five positions since 2011, while Wordpress has slipped altogether from the list of the top 17 sites. The world's favorite top four sites (see the slideshow to find out which they are) have remained the same since last year. Interestingly, while the #1 site leads in its global reach, the #2 site is the leader in terms of page views and, according to comScore data from december 2011, enjoys longer visits on average from users.

Flip through the slideshow to see the 17 most-visited sites on the web. Then, check out rankings from from 2011 (here). Do any of these results surprise you? Let us know in the comments section!

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  • #17 - MSN.com

    Global rank: 17 U.S. rank: 14 Last year's rank: 9 Global reach: 5.882% Global pageviews: 0.1278% Sites linking in: 418,039 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #16 - Sina.com.cn

    Global rank: 15 Chinese Rank: 4 Last year's rank: 16 Global reach: 4.931% Global pageviews: 0.28853% Sites linking in: 204,498 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #15 - Yahoo.co.jp

    Global rank: 16 Japanese rank: 1 Last year's rank: 12 Global reach: 3.705% Global pageviews: 0.6453% Sites linking in: 144,604 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #14 - Taobao.com

    Global rank: 14 Chinese rank: 3 Last year's rank: 17 Global reach: 4.177% Global pageviews: 0.7545% Sites linking in: 191,151 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #13 - LinkedIn

    Global rank: 12 U.S. rank: 12 Last year's rank: 13 Global reach: 5.253% Global pageviews: 0.45885% Sites linking in: 1,247,810 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #12 - Google.co.in

    Global rank: 13 Indian rank: 1 Last year's rank: 14 Global reach: 4.768% Global pageviews: 0.59051% Sites linking in: 45,053 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #11 - Blogger.com

    Global rank: 11 U.S. rank: 11 Last year's rank: 5 Global reach: 7.042% Global pageviews: 0.24974% Sites linking in: 27,721 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #10 - Amazon.com

    Global rank: 10 U.S. rank: 5 Last year's rank: 15 Global reach: 5.778% Global pageviews: 0.59674% Sites linking in: 1,073,767 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #9 - QQ.com

    Global rank: 9 Chinese rank: 2 Last year's rank: 10 Global reach: 7.506% Global pageviews: 0.6388% Sites linking in: 429,006 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #8 - Twitter.com

    Global rank: 8 U.S. rank: 9 Last year's rank: 9 Global reach: 8.983% Global pageviews: 0.4971% Sites linking in: 5,746,990 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #7 - Live.com

    Global rank: 7 U.S. rank: 10 Last year's rank: 8 Global reach: 10.191% Global pageviews: 0.6783% Sites linking in: 151,134 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #6 - Wikipedia.org

    Global rank: 6 U.S. rank: 6 Last year's rank: 7 Global reach: 13.644% Global pageviews: 0.5224% Sites linking in: 1,934,190 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #5 - Baidu.com

    Global rank: 5 Chinese rank: 1 Last year's rank: 6 Global reach: 11.461% Global pageviews: 1.8525% Sites linking in: 310,140 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #4 - Yahoo.com

    Global rank: 4 U.S. rank: 4 Last year's rank: 4 Global reach: 21.533% Global pageviews: 1.3239% Sites linking in: 1,787,700 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #3 - YouTube.com

    Global rank: 3 U.S. rank: 3 Last year's rank: 3 Global reach: 32.698% Global pageviews: 4.0823% Sites linking in: 3,198,073 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #2 - Facebook.com

    Global rank: 2 U.S. rank: 2 Last year's rank: 2 Global reach: 45.094% Global pageviews: 5.7886% Sites linking in: 7,047,911 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

  • #1 - Google.com

    Global rank: 1 U.S. rank: 1 Last year's rank: 1 Global reach: 48.318% Global pageviews: 5.3069% Sites linking in: 4,481,542 Source: <a href="http://www.alexa.com/topsites" target="_hplink">Alexa</a>, as of August 2012

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