Top 20 Websites in South Africa 2012

Over the last few years I have been tracking the Top 20 most popular websites in South Africa. Comparing 2010 and 2011 results revealed that social media was definitely growing as a high priority for South Africans.

In this analysis there are some interesting and valuable pieces of information we can observe.

LinkedIn beats Twitter

LinkedIn has taken the third place as the most popular social network in South Africa. I have seen this coming for some time as more and more professionals have been taking to LinkedIn to improve their networking skills. My personal LinkedIn profile currently connects me to more people than my Facebook profile.

The rise of LinkedIn makes it clearly evident that business to business marketing become a priority through social networking. In addition, this places LinkedIn firmly in the South African recruitment industry as a network with a powerful database of industry professionals across South Africa.

First National Bank comes out on top

Banking has always been a popular activity for South Africans online. In 2010 we saw Standard Bank as the bank of choice but over the last few years FNB has comfortably claimed the first position a the online bank of choice.

FNB offers its online clients first rate online banking (although every bank has a pretty decent Internet banking service) and the big plus (which caused me to change my banking to FNB) was the iPhone app and easy connection to PayPal. FNB has done a fantastic job at identifying the needs of South Africans and offering services that appeal to them. Congratulations FNB!

To all those who are interested here is the complete list of the Top 20 websites in South Africa in 2012:

  1. Google South Africa
  2. Facebook
  3. Google
  4. YouTube
  5. Yahoo
  6. Gumtree
  7. Wikipedia
  8. LinkedIn
  9. News24
  10. Bid or Buy
  11. Twitter
  12. First National Bank
  13. Blogspot
  14. StandardBank South Africa
  15. ABSA
  16. Windows Live
  17. Amazon
  18. Independent Online
  19. WordPress.com
  20. Microsoft Corporation
  • http://www.chessplains.com Bruce Mubayiwa

    Very interesting to see LinkedIn ranking above Twitter. Thanks for the update Mike.

    • http://www.mikesaunders.co.za Mike Saunders

      Thanks Bruce. I think it was just a matter of time.

    • http://www.habarimedia.com Marius Greeff

      Hi Bruce. LinkedIn has seen some massive growth over the last year and we’ve seen people showing more and more interest into how people are engaging.

  • Neil Pursey

    Hi Mike,

    Interesting stats! How did you calculate the popularity?

    • http://www.mikesaunders.co.za Mike Saunders

      Hi Neil

      Based on Alexa rankings

  • http://Website(optional) Joe Steyn-Begley

    I would love to know what metrics are used and how reliable they are.
    As a side note – most people use twitter from 3rd party apps and don’t access the site…

    I would imagine the same is true for Facebook, making their ranking even more impressive.

    • http://www.mikesaunders.co.za Mike Saunders

      Hi Joe,

      We are using Alexa. The relaibility is always a question when it comes to alexa but the stats do create a benchmark that we have measured against over the last few years. Helps us see whats changing and shifting.

      The 3rd Party app usage does skew the stats. Again the purpose here in not exact results but rather being able to map user experiences and South African trends over time.

      Thanks for your comment, Appreciate the interest!

  • http://Website(optional) Muzi

    IOL won’t make this list in the next two years, unless they come up with a new strategy.

    • http://www.mikesaunders.co.za Mike Saunders

      Interesting verdict Muzi. Why do you say that?

  • https://twitter.com/#!/staceyrumble Stacey

    Found it particularly quirky that this article was tweeted more than shared on LinkedIn though.

    Also, Microsoft Corporation – that’s an unexpected one, why do you suppose it made the top 20?

    Useful read Mike, thanks :)

    • http://www.mikesaunders.co.za Mike Saunders

      Hi Stacey

      Microsoft was an interesting curve ball for me as well. :)

      Regarding the tweets ve linkedin shares I believe that comes into play when you look at the actual people who use those platforms and how they use them. Twitter users predominantly use the platform to share links whereas Linkedin users don’t normally share links but rather spend their time connecting on the platform. Twitter people like to share!!

      Thanks for your comment

  • http://www.kingkroell.co.za Thomas

    Interesting stats! In the past I always considered Linked In to be a bit spammy, but recently I have found that its the best tool for lead generation and finding business trends in my niche. Definitely spending a lot more time on it than Facebook, Twitter and Google in the last 3 months.

  • Nick

    Hi Mike, do you have a list of the most popular local sites? i.i no Googles or Twitters.

    • http://www.mikesaunders.co.za/ Mike Saunders

      Hi Nick, I don’t have that information yet. Will look into it for the 2013 results though. Cheers