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Online Media analysis

Effective Measure report for South Africa August 2011

By: Rudolph Muller | 14 Sep 2011 10:40
Effective Measure, the traffic measurement partner of the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA), has released its August 2011 website statistics which rank websites according to South African (African) and total traffic. The stats show that News24 attracted the most total unique visitors last month, followed by Howzit MSN and IOL.
The same three websites topped the local traffic ranking.

While the SA website rankings for local and international traffic are similar, there are a few websites which are far higher on the list for local traffic than total traffic. These include Vodacom, Webmail and MWeb - all of which cater mainly for SA visitors who use the websites to retrieve email or manage their accounts online.

The table below shows South Africa's top websites ranked according to total unique visitors.

SA's 21 biggest websites according to Effective Measure

Total South Africa
WebsiteUnique visitorsPage viewsUnique visitorsPage views
News242 824 73842 442 2581 955 74935 426 696
Howzit.MSN2 146 20134 883 1671 841 42131 391 861
IOL1 825 78919 745 182986 34615 341 129
TimesLive1 042 7178 288 824556 8166 151 322
MyBroadband991 5296 054 807512 4124 572 909
Supersport930 81414 363 524445 3269 772 944
Sport24871 0089 042 348556 5525 492 571
JunkMail855 00618 860 558641 10515 179 542
News24 Mobile838 74817 379 356306 5204 078 564
Webmail838 37634 413 806699 23230 140 709
SowetanLive824 32219 178 781606 79316 771 121
Vodacom796 35212 029 086749 44911 497 586
Mobi.supersport668 73112 595 497221 3423 919 253
Mail & Guardian661 2274 848 990361 3452 997 075
MWEB640 61015 213 842584 22214 257 535
Health24629 6213 620 247384 4842 688 717
Planet F1562 3835 508 82215 809190 124
Kick Off548 97611 528 946253 6005 870 092
Channel24547 8193 571 725376 7132 330 331
PrivateProperty546 29215 711 492481 92314 598 545
CareerJunction540 5209 662 668448 2898 652 804
Property24517 13511 526 343409 08910 411 450
Fin24511 4173 544 100414 9673 010 183

The DMMA/Effective Measure statistics provide online advertisers with audited and trustworthy statistics to assist them with media planning, but because it is a paid-for, opt-in service, not all of SA's websites are included in this list. BidorBuy, Gumtree, FNB, Absa and Standard Bank are several of the very large sites which are absent.

A service which helps to ascertain which websites SA users visit the most is Alexa. However, to rank websites, Alexa uses statistics from its community of Alexa toolbar users, where data is collected and sent to Alexa for processing. In other words, users need to have installed Alexa toolbars, and data could be skewed because these users may not be representative of the Internet population as a whole.

Therefore, Alexa only provides a rough estimate of website traffic and rank, and is neither as accurate nor as trusted as Effective Measure's statistics.

According to Alexa's SA rankings, is the most popular website in our country, followed by Facebook and When it comes to SA-only sites, BidorBuy is ranked top, followed by Gumtree and News24.

The following table provides an overview of the most popular websites among SA Internet users who have the Alexa toolbar installed.

Top 20 sites in SA according to Alexa

RankAll websitesSA websites
4YouTubeStandard Bank
11 Twitter MWEB
12 Blogger
13 Standard Bank NedSecure
14 FNB PriceCheck
15 ABSA Vodacom
16 Windows Live TimesLive
17 IOL SuperSport
18 CareerJunction
19 Amazon PrivateProperty
20 Microsoft Bizcommunity

The need to visit sites such as Alexa to see a full list of SA's largest websites is obviously not optimal, and the DMMA recently announced that it is launching SA's first online audience measurement panel. To be implementated by Effective Measure, the panel will be a recruited sample of South Africans whose web-browsing activities will be monitored and measured using software downloaded and installed on their computers.

This data, when combined with the current DMMA member information, will give advertisers a much clearer picture of the Total South African Internet Universe.

The additional statistics gathered by the DMMA/Effective Measure audience measurement panel will limit the need to visit other web traffic measurement services such as Alexa, and all the data will be available to Effective Measure users.

Effective Measure table updated to include top 21 websites instead top 10 at 12.17pm on 14 September 2011.
Alexa table updated to include top 20 websites instead top 10 at 12.58pm on 14 September 2011.

About Rudolph Muller

Rudolph Muller is the editor of broadband, telecoms and technology news site MyBroadband (; Biz press office), with a particular love for anything related to the Internet. He comes from an academic background, but left the University of Johannesburg in 2007 to run MyBroadband full time. Follow @rudolphmuller on Twitter.
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Read more: Effective Measure, DMMA