All posts by Fabian Doe

Sell your property in real estate agency or not?

Real estate and property news, just for you!

Good question, difficult answer.

If the question had been asked in 2000, the answer was simple: of course, in an agency. But since then there has been the Internet revolution, and things are much more complicated.

According to statistics in 2018 (National Association of Realtors), sales are made via:

  1. Internet: 50%
  2. Real estate agent: 28%
  3. Yard sign / open house sign: 7%
  4. Friend, relative or neighbor: 7%
  5. Home builder or their agent: 5%
  6. Directly from sellers / Knew the sellers: 2%
  7. Print newspaper advertisement: 1%

This means that 50% of Internet sales did not exist before 2000. Note that Internet sales only represent 50%, while this value is certainly higher. Indeed, one can think that the real estate agents practically all have an Internet site which offer the goods for sale. Internet sales are therefore probably closer to 80%.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Property sales""

Note that the Print newspaper advertisements are very low, 1%. This is undoubtedly due to the very large presence of real estate agencies on this type of media, which scares away individuals who would like to sell their property.

Finally, the statistical analysis does not say the crossed percentages. Indeed, we rarely watch the same ad in a single media.

Let’s look specifically at sales by real estate agents. First, they communicate about goods for sale in different ways: advertisements in newspapers, in the Internet media, posters in front of the agency.
On the Internet, they are in competition with other agencies that offer the same property for sale (beware of the different prices for the same property, that is not serious). In the newspapers, we know that few sales take place. Finally, the poster in front of the agency is much more important than we think.

Let’s take the problem differently, say for the buyer. Do you think a buyer decides to buy a property solely for financial or aesthetic reasons? It’s wrong.

In reality, the buyer is buying a house and its surroundings. In a significant number of cases, the buyer will want to buy a house that is close to shops, close to the bus stop or the highway to go to work, close to his children’s school. He will therefore choose a house preferably in a certain environment. If he chooses a city that suits him, he will look on the Internet for ads that correspond to this city (which is not always indicated precisely in the ads) then he will go to that city to look for ads in real estate agencies.

For a few years, real estate agencies thought that shops in town were doomed: overpriced rents, the need for frequent human presence in the agency. Internet networks without shops have developed much more. We are now witnessing an upsurge in the attraction of shops in town for much more human relationships and professionalism.

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Trends in architecture

Real estate and property news, just for you!

For many years now, we have seen architectural trends emerge. This can explain by the increasingly important urbanization, the disaffection of large industrial sites and the need of people to live in original spaces.

We will present some trends that we find frequently:

Home automation and smart home


More and more people are using home automation to make their homes more comfortable. We can cite the systems that allow to open the shutters, to put heating, lights, and many others.

Home automation and smart home
Industrial style


More and more people are trying to buy old industrial buildings or have housing built by imitating these buildings. There are inexpensive materials like iron or wood.

Industrial style
Open spaces


The trend is to remove the partitions to enlarge the space. We will even find spaces without any partitions, except a very small one for the bathroom.

Open spaces
Kitchen and bathroom


The first becomes a real reception hall in which you receive your friends, the second wants to look more and more like the Roman baths with their size and their different temperatures.

Kitchen and bathroom
Positive energy house


We no longer want houses that have a very high energy loss due to poorly insulated windows or poorly constructed roofs. We want houses that do not lose heat and if possible produce energy with solar panels and wind turbines.

Positive energy house

These trends are deep and reflect the state of mind of people who want to act on their environment while keeping a certain comfort.
We will come back later in this post to tell you about other trends that may emerge in the future.

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Draw free plan

Real estate and property news, just for you!

And the question that goes with that of the title is: how to have a quality and free house plan?

House with garden

I will respond with nuances. Indeed, in a conventional store, if you buy a connected speaker, the price is correlated with the quality. Indeed, a large and heavy speaker like Google Home will generally be more expensive than a small speaker because of better quality. It is valid for all objects of daily life. A Ferrari type car will be more expensive and of better quality than a Peugeot 109 or a Fiat Tipo (sorry for the manufacturers …).

In digital, it’s very different. Simply because the economic models are different. In digital, you can have an essentially free service. In one case, it will be completely free and the company that produces this service will live on advertising (we often see this with bloggers from Youtube). In another case, the service will be free, and the company that produces this service will live thanks to additional functionalities accessible through paid subscription. In both cases, the quality of the service must be important or people will not come to the site.

 

So, to answer the question of the title: yes, we can have a quality and free product. But you should never forget that if the business model of the company does not work (not enough ads on the site because too many people put an ad blocker, or not enough people who take a paid version with new features) then the site can stop, which happens regularly.

 

This is why we have chosen to put this free, archiplain house plan software online. We offer you essentially free software, of very good quality. And if you want new features, you can take a paid subscription that you only pay once (no renewal every month. You buy it today, and in 6 months, the account will still be active).

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2D and 3D floor plans

Real estate and property news, just for you!

Today, I would like to talk to you about 2D and 3D house plans. Because there is more and more software that offers 3D house plans and, curiously, the number of people who use 2D house plan software is always as important.

If you want to create your 2D plan, you need house building software as a free archiplain. You may consider downloading archiplain or other software.

But I think the explanation is elsewhere.

2D house plan

Imagine that I want to create floor plans. I will probably first draw my plans online. Create plan sounds easy, but not that much. And making modern house plans, farm house plans or custom house plans is quite difficult. This requires special skills related to the particular type of house. I’m not even talking about ranch house plans, country house plans or farm which are very specific.
No, the real reason is different.

The real reason is this: we all have a greater or lesser difficulty in having a 3D representation of objects.

You all know examples of amusement parks that represent houses upside down, that is to say that the ceiling is on the floor and the floor on the ceiling. In general, after the first laughs to move around, one quickly becomes very disturbed. This is because our visual cues are in trouble. The same goes for 3D house plans. We can make a 2D house plan and with imagination, see 3D. But if the plan is in 3D, we are quickly lost.

Finally, you may prefer 2D or 3D to make your house plans. But the 2 will always exist. It’s like paper books and electronic books.

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Drone to sell a property

Real estate and property news, just for you!

More and more, we use drones to make virtual tours of real estate for sale. This makes it possible to move inside the house or to fly over it to see it as a whole.

But we rarely think of using a drone as a means of control.

What are the controls that can be done?

  • Control of the roof. You can look at the roof, gutters, vents, fireplaces, TV antennas, solar panels.
  • Control granaries in which we can not move. We can see the state of insulation, framing, ventilation systems, electrical installations.
  • Field control. At a certain height, we can see if the vegetation grows homogeneously, if the tops of the hedges are in good condition. We can also see if there are nests of Asian hornets.
  • Control of the surroundings. Better than with Google Map, because it is done immediately, we can see if there is nuisance in the surroundings: presence of a railway line, a highway, a factory of breeding of pigs or poultry, a treatment plant, a dam.

As we can see, there are many ways to control a real estate asset. From our point of view, it would be necessary for computer companies to make image processing software from the views of drones and offer this type of service to real estate agencies. Thus, it would bring a real plus to real estate sales.

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Provider of business in real estate

Real estate and property news, just for you!

Real estate is a market that drains very important financial flows. For many people, it’s the biggest purchase of a lifetime.

For a real estate agent, the most important thing is to have real estate for sale. For this, it is necessary that owners agree to entrust their property to this real estate agent through a contract. That’s why real estate agents spend a lot of time looking for properties for sale.

On the other hand, it is sometimes difficult for a retiree, an unemployed person or a young person to earn enough money to live. An elegant way to solve these difficulties is to become a business provider for real estate.

If you know a property for sale, or if you know people who will soon sell a property, you can talk to a real estate agent, of course respecting the discretion of the people who gave you this information.
How to access this information? These people who will sell their property are grouped into different categories, the main ones being:

  • Divorce proceedings. In some countries, one-third of couples divorce. It can be up to half. And the house or apartment must be sold for everyone to get money back.
  • Job transfer. Either the owner changes responsibility and has to move to another area, his plant has to close and he has to find work elsewhere.

Once we know this information, and with the agreement of the owner, just see the real estate agent and offer to sell this property. If the sale takes place, the provider of business can recover a certain amount of money that can range from a few hundred euros to a few thousand.

In conclusion, it is a good way to make money for people who need it to live without making it a real job.

Attention, in some countries, the regulation imposes a maximum of gains to this not exceed. Beyond, you have to declare yourself as a real estate agent.

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Make a kitchen plan

Real estate and property news, just for you!

There are several possibilities to build your kitchen, more precisely to equip your kitchen:

  • Buy the furniture and the rest like the oven, the sink, the refrigerator, the hood in a department store like Ikea
  • Order a custom furniture specialist and assemble the furniture yourself
  • Order everything from a specialist and let him do everything alone
  • Another possibility: build the furniture yourself and install them

In any case, you will have to plan the kitchen first. Of course, we recommend our online archiplain software but you can choose the one that interests you. Why do that? Because the dimensions of a house are rarely accurate. It is not uncommon to see deviations of one inch, or 2 to 3 centimeters, between theory and reality.

Once this kitchen plan is complete, you need the furniture. Never forget one thing: there is never enough room to store everything you need. So do not hesitate to install high furniture. Also take advantage of some tips for example to integrate the dishwasher in a piece of furniture. Do not forget also that it is important to be able to move easily in the kitchen which remains a place in which one moves a lot to make dishes.

Last thing: install a ventilation in the kitchen to allow the burned gases to be able to evacuate easily and to avoid intoxication. And install an evacuation above the hood that is connected to the outside. A big problem in kitchens is the accumulation of traces of oil on walls and furniture. These traces are very difficult to remove.

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5 ideas for selling your house

Real estate and property news, just for you!

Looking for what can make the difference to sell your house or apartment?

Of course, we can say that what makes the difference is the price of the living space, the size of the property, its cleanliness, the white walls, its insulation, the absence of noise, etc … You will find these arguments in all blogs that talk about real estate.

But selling or not selling often depends on small details.
Here are the 5 criteria that will make a good sale:

  1. Leisure around the house: all that is of interest in the region should be described, hiking, skiing, cinema, theater, games, remarkable landscape, castles, bike, etc …
  2. Seasonal Activities: If your house is in a ski resort, you may think that the winter (for skiing) and summer (for hiking) periods will be profitable, but the inter seasons like spring or summer autumn can take place in the rain …
  3. Special house: anything that can make your home different from the others: the morning sun in the kitchen, the movie room, the gym, the ceilings where you can hang ropes to play sports, the bed that enter a wall, …
  4. The equipment of the house: the washing machine with a large volume, the special oven pizza, home automation, security alarm, …
  5. The catering: all the places where one can eat well around the house, restaurant, pizzerias, creperie, etc … and their opening hours. I know a couple of people who bought a rather expensive house, first because it has beautiful finishes, but also because they can take their little black coffee on foot every morning not far away.

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Aquarium of humans

Real estate and property news, just for you!

I wanted to talk to you about this fashion of immersing homes for many reasons:

  • Enjoy the beauty of the seabed
  • Protect yourself from aerial attacks
  • Enjoy a constant temperature
  • Increase the living space

Here we present you a luxury holiday home with walls and fully transparent ceiling. The light and the view are beautiful. But no doubt that Mr Photoshop has been there.

See aquarium 1

Because we must not forget that special glass walls can get dirty. It is therefore necessary to regularly clean these windows of the mosses and algae that are deposited there. More annoyingly, shellfish have the bad habit of sticking to it and are more difficult to remove.

But on arrival, we can enjoy the show.

See aquarium 2

Be careful though: the sea is not always a world of peace and happiness. You could attend a shark’s meal that shreds a sea lion at the time of your coffee. I remember a natural park in which a glass tunnel was installed in the middle of a lion pen. As we were crossing this tunnel, the park feeders threw chickens to feed these lions. The sight of these lions with the blood-covered jaws just above us was unpleasant.

By ignoring these unpleasant situations, the spectacle of the sea is often exhilarating. Just look at the slow movement of a starfish or jellyfish to gain some serenity.

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Christmas toys for future architects

Real estate and property news, just for you!

As the holidays approached, we looked for some original ideas to offer our children. It will then convince Santa Claus to put these gifts in his hood.

First of all, wooden toys to be used by child victims of trauma. In any case, the purpose of these toys. But in reality, all children can handle these toys:

Then we found a child-friendly computer, a collaboration between Microsoft and Kano. And the most interesting is that this computer can be made by children:

Finally, the Danish company Lego has launched bricks for use by blind children:

It is always difficult to find original toys to offer to children who already have everything. But by looking a little, we find …

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Open space or not?

Real estate and property news, just for you!

Open space started in the 50s in the United States and in the 80s in Europe. The concept is to offer workers large trays of open work. The idea is to allow exchanges between employees and not to leave people alone in their office. To be a little more precise, we can also suspect that it prevents workers from doing nothing during their working hours …

What are the benefits for the company?

  • Cohesion between people
  • Reduce the area needed to accommodate the same number of people
  • Modularity of spacing

But if these benefits to the business are so interesting, why some are critical. Let’s go through all this:

  • Permanent contact between the employees and the line manager
  • Feeling of being watched which leads to stress
  • Too noisy which prevents some from focusing

How to have an open space in your company while allowing its employees to work in good conditions? Let’s explore some solutions:

  • Install a break room for breaks to leave the noisy space
  • Make a meeting room outside the open space
  • Define rules of living in common
  • Add touches of nature like plants that give a pleasant appearance and allow to filter the noises

Finally, open space provides an indisputable advantage to companies but it must be done to respect the good quality of work otherwise the economy on one side will be lost by the poor efficiency of workers.

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Plants inside and out

Modern castle or ancient castle, that’s the question

How to draw a modern castle plan

Shoe plant

Air-cleaning plants

 

Make a house cellar

Real estate and property news, just for you!

I will tell you a little story.

My neighbors had long wanted to have a cellar to store their collection of fine wines. When they decided to build their house, they asked the architect to design a cellar with the plan of the house. And then their house was completed, they moved in, and they stored their bottles of wine in the cellar. And then one day they went on vacation for a week. And it rained a lot in the area where their house is. Back from vacation, they found their cellar completely filled with water. And the bottles had all lost their label.

All this to tell you that we do not build a cellar without some precautions:

  • First of all, do you want a buried cellar or cellar with access to the outside?
  • Is there water in the soil?
  • What is the nature of the soil (clay that prevents water from flowing, or sandstone, sand, limestone)?
  • Should we drain all around the cellar to eliminate water?
  • Can drainage be connected to the water flow system in the city?
  • Is there a stream like a stream or a river to drain the drainage water?
  • Is the ground of the house sloping to let the water drain?
  • Is the land in a bowl?
  • Is your land in a flood zone (normally, no, but in practice it is possible)?

There are several types of materials to build the walls and the floor of your cellar. But if you need to insulate your cellar against rising water, do not forget that it is much more efficient to insulate your cellar from the outside. Do it when the house is being built. Once the house is built, it will be impossible to do or very expensive.

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Beautify your home

Real estate and property news, just for you!

You are at home, sitting comfortably in your chair, and you say that life is beautiful. However, you say to yourself: my house is very beautiful but it lacks a little personality. What can I do to make it more attractive?

We will give you some ideas for beautification.

First of all, you have to do all the little renovations, such as electricity, plumbing, small holes in the walls, water leaks.

Then, here are some suggestions:

  • An original door
  • Joinery with colors
  • A garage door in color
  • Blue shutters pastel type
  • All frames of the same color different from the walls
  • A colored chimney
  • Add stones, or slates, or wood on the walls
  • Put slates on the roof instead of brick tiles (be careful, depending on where you live, there may be obligations)
  • Wooden fences to demarcate vote ground
  • Wooden fences for your vegetable garden
  • Small light terminals
  • Cut trees type “Bonsai”
  • Small jets of water

It’s up to you to test all these suggestions. If you have other proposals, or achievements, do not hesitate to send us your comments / photos.

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How to fight against mosquitoes

Real estate and property news, just for you!

Mosquitoes are distributed in 3500 species and are found around the world.

They do not all sting but when they bite, it is the female who does it.

The mosquito egg gives birth to an aquatic larva, then to a nymph, and finally to a winged adult.
The mosquito is often considered as a nuisance, but it should not be forgotten that this insect pollinates the flowers by foraging them and thus contributes to the propagation of flowering plants such as bees.

But it must be said that mosquitoes carry many diseases and are considered in some countries as a real scourge.

For example, the tiger mosquito appeared in France only a few years ago and has invaded all of southern France. If you plan to go on holiday in France, take your precautions.

What can you do to protect yourself from mosquitoes without using chemicals?
Here are some ways you can exploit:

  • Limit nesting sites, especially stagnant water (beware, tiger mosquito larvae can develop simply in a wet area such as mud or compost)
  • Protect yourself with covering clothes, mosquito nets, especially in the morning and evening (be careful, the tiger mosquito can sting all day)
  • Put cobwebs everywhere (I do not know if you prefer mosquitoes or spiders …)
  • Sleeping under a mosquito net (be careful, the mesh should be very thin and the mosquito net should go under the mattress)
  • Use a fan (the mosquito’s flight is quite unstable and can not stand wind)

In conclusion, no ideal solution. Keep this rule to eliminate all kinds of stagnant water and avoid dark places. I know people who decided to cut the hedges around their homes: the effect was spectacular.

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Unsaleable house, what to do?

Real estate and property news, just for you!

A house can become unsaleable for a lot of reasons:

  • Half of the houses in the village are empty
  • There are no economic activities
  • No access road
  • No shops
  • Terraced house with a ruin
  • Termite problem
  • Lead problem

Of course, we can find many other reasons.

First of all, it is primarily a price problem. Indeed, if the price is low enough, we always find someone who is interested.

And then we can do a home staging job to make the house attractive:

  • Empty all furniture and decorations
  • Repaint all in white
  • Beautify the garden
  • Do minor repairs: electricity, plumbing, window cleaning

Finally, prepare a speech to attract potential buyers. The important thing is to make people understand the interest they can have in living in this house. Do not stay too factual, play on feelings.

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Nuisance at home

Real estate and property news, just for you!

When you want to buy or build a house, you want to have all the necessary comfort. But it is also useful to think of the nuisances that one can have.

There is a lot of nuisance. For example :

  • Bad orientation of the house compared to the sun
  • Leakage of water, of pipe
  • Bad smells
  • Cracks in the walls
  • Presence of rodents in the attic or walls

But if you do a search on Google, you will find by typing the word “nuisance” that the results mainly concern noise. And it is true that noise is considered by a majority of people as nuisance number 1.
What kinds of noise generate nuisances?

Some of the most common are:

  • Car or truck noises, train noise
  • Neighbors’ noises, above, below or beside
  • Aircraft noise
  • Factory sounds
  • Wind noise
  • School sounds
  • Construction noise
  • Sounds of bar or restaurant

I cited only some noise. If we had to quote them all, this post would not be enough.

In conclusion, and considering that the noise nuisance is the first disadvantage cited by the people, it would be useful if the people who have a project of purchase or construction of house make use of a specialist consultant to avoid this type of problem.

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Methods to make the mice fly away

Real estate and property news, just for you!

The mice are cute but can cause problems in your home.

They can circulate in the insulation of the walls of your house. As they are rather nocturnal, they make noise and can prevent you from sleeping.

They can also enter your home through a crack in a wall or simply by the electrical ducts and move the electrical outlet.

Once inside the house, their goal is to find food. And they are so agile that they can sneak everywhere, in a closet, in a bedside, or climb on furniture. And here, if you left bread, candy or chocolate, it is the feast assured. Do not think that chocolate packaging will withstand them.
How do you find a way to get rid of them without killing them?

Many solutions :

  • Put cat litter on the mouse passages
  • Put repellent plants like mint, bay leaf or sage
  • Put cloth soaked in repellent plant extract
  • Try ultrasound

In conclusion, the idea is not to eliminate mice, which is almost impossible. But to reduce their number. And do not do like this friend who set traps to catch the living mice. He was releasing them just outside the house …

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Technology in architecture

Real estate and property news, just for you!

Technology has always been present in architecture. Of course, we do not talk about electronics or computers.

For example, the pyramids of Giseh or the buildings built by the Incas: huge blocks of stone are sealed together without using mortar. We can think that it took a lot of know-how, and probably technology, to build these buildings.

Much research is being done to understand how the ancients could move such blocks of stone, how they carved them, and how they adjusted them.

Closer to home, we can only be amazed by Gustave Eiffel who built a huge tower with iron bars and bolts.

Nowadays, technology has taken a leading role in architecture.

For example, we can build houses with 3D printers. Thanks to this technique, it is possible to create forms impossible to achieve with bricks or blocks.

Drones can also bring a lot to the architecture, for example by making it possible to carry out controls on buildings already built, with software that allows to ensure quality monitoring.

Home automation has come a long way and makes it possible to have smart homes.

It is also possible to design fully mobile houses that orient themselves in relation to the sun.

In the future, we can imagine that the construction techniques by 3D printing will still progress, the machines will be less and less expensive. Thus, poorer people will be able to access homes at affordable prices.

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Architectural Schools in the United States

Real estate and property news, just for you!

We present in this article the best schools of architecture in the USA:

  • Yale, School of Architecture
  • Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • University of Pennsylvania, School of Design
  • University Cornell, College of Architecture, Art and Planning
  • University of Cincinnati, Design, Architecture, Art and Planning
  • Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, College of Architecture and Environmental Design
  • University of Michigan, Taubman College, Architecture and Urban Planning
  • University of Syracuse, Syracuse (New York), Syracuse University School of Architecture
  • University of Texas, Austin, School of Architecture
  • University of Kansas, College of Architecture, Planning and Design
  • Florida International University, Miami, FIU School of Architecture
  • University of Columbia, New York, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

But this ranking is necessarily arbitrary because it includes many criteria. Indeed, for a student living in New York, a nearby school but less prestigious will be preferable to a school in Los Angeles more prestigious. The criterion of employability can also be considered essential. Leaving a school with a degree is not enough. You have to be able to find an interesting and well paid job. But it also depends on the reputation of the school, for example internationally. To make a big project in Asia or Europe, we will rely on the reputation of the school in addition to the CV of the candidate.

Finally, the most important criterion is the following: whatever the level of school, it is the motivation of the student that is important. Being first in school, even if it’s average, will sometimes be better than being the last of a prestigious school.

We will return regularly to this post to modify it and take into account the evolution of the reputation of these schools.

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Facebook or Google?

Real estate and property news, just for you!

We present today the list of the most visited websites in the world :

  1. Google.com
  2. YouTube.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Baidu
  5. Wikipedia.org
  6. reddit.com
  7. Yahoo.com
  8. QQ.com
  9. Amazon.com
  10. Taobao.com
  11. Twitter.com
  12. tmall.com
  13. vk.com
  14. instagram.com
  15. Live.com
  16. sohu.com
  17. sina.com.cn
  18. jd.com
  19. weibo.com
  20. 360.cn

Unsurprisingly, the most popular site is Google. But be careful, the numbers do not always have the value that is expected of them. For example, in this list, numbers 1 and 2 are Google and Youtube. But these two companies are part of the same company: Google LLC. So, Facebook has to be compared to Youtube and Google together, the first place in the ranking, far ahead of others.

Beware of Wikipedia which is in 5th position, but most of the traffic comes from questions asked on Google.

Interestingly, we can also note that US companies dominate this ranking. But the Chinese are not absent, even if they do not occupy the first places.

The first site is Baidu, a Chinese search engine in 4th position. But we also have QQ in 9th position, and plenty others companies. Note that the second social network after Facebook is Twitter in just 11th position, and the third is Instagram, in just 14th position.

We will regularly resume this article to make it evolve based on news.

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