SA’s Top 20 Websites: What South Africa want’s from the internet

The top twenty most visited websites by South Africans, as provided by Alexa, show us that South Africa internet users are interested in information, fun and money.


Looking for something?

Search is still the primary point of a South African internet user with large portions of usership is driven towards Google. Yahoo may add to these search orientated statistics but it may be misleading as most Yahoo users are mail users and can only access their email from the Yahoo website itself. MSN is also one of the Top 20. The popularity of Wikipedia shows that South Africans are starting to ‘choose’ their search engine according to their specific needs.

Latest News

It has become inevitable that the internet in South Africa will provide a better news service to the public. As first world countries have may an almost complete shift to internet news the biggest hurdle in South Africa will the internet access. I don’t believe that we can say that internet holds the majority of our news readers but it is safe to say that most internet users in South Africa are following the news over an internet connection. News24 has been the most successful service offering in this regard trumping all overseas competition.

Seeking Opinions

The international blogging community is full of personal opinion which has helped marketers to perform fast and effective research on product feedback and brand reputation. In South Africa it seems that we are moving towards a similar environment of both readers of blogs seeking opinions and bloggers giving opinion. Blogger.com seems to be the platform of choice with most South Africans followed by WordPress which are both free services.



It’s no surprise that Facebook is the second most popular webiste in South Africa after Google. However it is interesting to note the rise in popularity of Twitter, YouTube and Flickr networks. This indicates that South Africans are taking to Social Media as a lifestyle rather than just a fad of one specific software programme. New development on the international front have laid the foundation to Social Media becoming a fundamental and reputable marketing channel for almost every compentant marketing plan.

It is also interesting to note from checkfacebook.com that roughly 25% of South African Facebook uses are over the age of 35 showing how the social networking site has been able to bring the concept of ‘sharing’ on the internet across generations.



Coupled with the idea of having fun on the internet South African’s seem to be taking well to online shopping. At the very least the seem to be bargain hunting which would lay the foundation for more confidence in e-commerce in the future. Gumtree is extremely popular with their classfied style listings, Bid or buy and Amazon have also done very well attracting our attention. On a personal note, it is interesting that my wife (who is your everyday internet user) did about 80% of her christmas shopping online this year.


South Africans took to internet banking very well a few years ago and the stats show with both Standard Bank and ABSA in 13th and 14th place respectively. The main competitor to internet banking seems to be mobile banking due the distrubution edge it has. It will be interesting to see how the Smartphone’s impact the cellphone verse internet banking statistics.

What can we take away from this?

  1. Search Marketing (SEO) still has its place in our marketing plans and needs to be prioritised within your organisation
  2. Social Media is here to stay – it is not a fad – invest now and start experimenting with campaign ideas. This is unchartered territory for most companies.
  3. Banner Advertising on News websites may still bring returns on your advertising budget
  4. South African are open to using web-based software packages. This is shown in the adaptation to internet banking, the use of blogging software and online shopping. There is definitely scope to extend your company services online in a practical and intuitive fashion.

The complete Top 20 most visited websites by South Africans

1 ) Google SA
2 ) Facebook
3 ) Google
4 ) Yahoo
5 ) YouTube
6 ) Wikipedia
7 ) Gumtree
8 ) Wikipedia
9 ) Blogger
10 ) Twitter
11 ) Windows Live
12 ) News24
13 ) Standard Bank
14 ) ABSA
15 ) WordPress
16 ) MSN
17 ) IOL
18 ) Flickr
19 ) Bid or Buy
20 )Amazon (Courtesy of Alexa.com)

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