internet marketing

The 10 Most Popular Sites in Kenya

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a pretty large and well attended ICT Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My presentation was on internet marketing within a Pan-African context. In the course of doing my research using Alexa (http://www.alexa.com), a web site ranking service, I was very surprised to learn that Kenya’s most popular web sites have changed significantly in the last year or so. Okay, there are the usual suspects like Yahoo!, Google and the Daily Nation that receive tremendous traffic, as can be expected. However, even within the top ten, as of this writing, there are many that I had not anticipated, especially those that are social networking sites. I think the following findings are extremely important for anyone looking to leverage the Internet as a key marketing channel in Kenya, targeting Kenyans:

1. Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com)

Yahoo! is the top online destination for users in Kenya. I am guessing here but I would bet that the main activity on this site is email and perhaps online chat. There are so many people who have Yahoo! email addresses and messenger accounts and this is the confirmed main activity in lots of cybercafés. So, if I were a marketer trying to reach out online in Kenya, I would buy ads in Yahoo!

2. Google Kenya (http://www.google.co.ke)

Google, unless you have been under a rock for the past few years is a company bent on world domination, seriously! Their mainstays, and core business remains internet search and online ads. Google recently set-up shop in Nairobi which is the regional HQ for East Africa. Google Adwords (http://adwords.google.com) and Google Adsense (http://adsense.google.com) are the money machines behind their record earnings these last few years. Currently, Google is in the process of finalizing their acquisition of DoubleClick (http://www.doubleclick.com), one of the world’s leading online advertising networks. The number three (3) ranked site in Kenya is Google’s global site at http://www.google.com.

4. FaceBook (http://www.facebook.com)

Who doesn’t love FaceBook! I was pleasantly surprised to find just how popular this site is at number four (4) in Kenya. This ranking also suggests to me that lots of companies are losing productivity as all their workers are busy poking and adding friends to their lists every day. At the same time, any marketer should salivate at the opportunity to reach the Kenyan FaceBook market. A few months ago, FaceBook launched profile pages which let companies market themselves to FaceBook users. This initiative, in conjunction to buying ads on FaceBook presents a compelling proposition to reach Kenyan’s online.

5. Windows Live Search (http://search.live.com)

Windows Live Search is Microsoft’s Search Engine. A latecomer to the search game, Live Search has grown significantly in the last few years but still lags a distant third to Google and Yahoo! Search. However, in terms of indexing and quality results, it’s been quite impressive. Like with the other leading search engines, Live Search enables advertisers to market their offerings using sponsored listings, much like Google Adwords. As of this writing, Microsoft’s bid at US$ 44 Billion for Yahoo! could significantly change the prospects for Windows Live Search which is already quite popular in Kenya.

6. Hi5 (http://www.hi5.com)

Hi5, like FaceBook, is a popular social network. On a global scale, it lags far behind but for some reason seems to do better across several African Countries. This site, like FaceBook, presents an interesting marketing platform.

7. YouTube (http://www.youtube.com)

I must admit that the high ranking of YouTube at number seven (7) was a big surprise. I say so because the Google owned YouTube is the world’s leading video sharing web site. Now, in Kenya, where we are well accustomed to slow internet connections and erratic online experiences, people are actually spending a significant amount online watching streaming videos! It’s also refreshing to see Kenyan organizations such as NTV (http://www.youtube.com/user/NTVKenya) and the Kenya Red Cross (http://www.youtube.com/user/KenyaRedCross) having channels on YouTube. A BIG hint is that video growing fast online and any marketer should look at repurposing their content for a YouTube.

8. MSN (http://www.msn.com)

MSN is Microsoft’s online portal that consolidates services such as email, chat, news, jobs, etc, much like Yahoo! has done. The site, which integrates a whole host of Microsoft offerings, has done well in the last few years as more and more users and businesses migrate to online business. As a marketing channel, together with Windows Live Search, this site presents an excellent platform to reach Kenyans.

9. Blogger (http://www.blogger.com)

Blogger is a leading site for users to create their own blogs. As blogs gain more and more momentum online, Kenya has not been left behind and a good number of Kenyan themed blogs are out there. So, it would seem that Kenyan’s are following lots of blogs on Blogger and it would be an excellent marketing location for marketers to have corporate blogs here too.

10. RapidShare (http://www.rapidshare.com)

RapidShare is a file sharing web site that lets you upload up 100 megabytes as a single file. The free service is surprisingly high at number ten (10), especially considering that like YouTube, Kenya does not have the best internet infrastructure for this kind of thing. It would also appear that users in Kenya like to exchange files, probably in the form of music, applications and documents, online.

These sites round off the top ten. In terms of the best of the rest, here are the notable sites with online marketing opportunities in the top twenty (20):

11. Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.com)
15. MySpace (http://www.myspace.com)
16. The Daily and Sunday Nation (http://www.nationmedia.com)
20. The East African Standard (http://www.eastandard.net)

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65 Comments

  1. Moses Kemibaro
    April 21, 2008 at 5:15 am — Reply

    David. Thanks for the feedback. I actually extracted the rankings from the Alexa ratings specifically for Kenya. You can access the same at

    http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?cc=KE&ts_mode=country&lang=none?

    The listing is actually the full top 100 sites and http://www.stockskenya.com is currently listed as number 65.

    • January 23, 2015 at 11:25 am — Reply

      This list is not up-to-date & the author should up date the post. I also recommend the author to list sites owned by Kenyans or which operates in Kenya. Here is the updated list of the most popular Kenyan blogs and websites in Kenya. Kindly update the list. Thank you

  2. April 25, 2008 at 8:49 am — Reply

    nice reading about the top sites in Kenya but it would have been even more better to rate only Kenyan sites, that way it would have made a much more local appeal. by rating local sites, you would have been promoting the local web masters. am wishing with time i will get the required traffic for my site to be rated among the best. http://www.wakenya.biz the kenyan facebook

    • Alex Ofio
      December 3, 2010 at 9:01 am — Reply

      @kimjonez the link is not working…. http://www.wakenya.biz. check it out for it to get rated

  3. moses omuteku
    May 7, 2008 at 6:35 am — Reply

    Hey Moses, l found this a great read. lt then occurs to one just how much knowledge is out there.

  4. frank
    May 7, 2008 at 12:41 pm — Reply

    Thanks , i was wondering where to start on deciding where to place a message . Great tip . Hope to meet you soon

    Frank Maina

  5. May 13, 2008 at 8:46 am — Reply

    Nice survey, but i have to differ with the actuality of the stats. While it is indeed true that most kenyans go to yahoo first before any other site…yahoo does get unnecessary hits whereby it’s URL has been configured to be the homepage for all browsers in all cyber cafes in kenya. This adds its hits whenever ones logs on to the net even if the don’t necessarily go to yahoo. Hey guyz pliz check out vishasha.co rank it. I need feedback.

  6. Moses Kemibaro
    May 13, 2008 at 10:52 am — Reply

    Kevin. Thats an intersting point. I doubt just cyber cafes are responsible for the large amount of traffic heading to Yahoo.com. However, I was just using data from Alexa.com and thats what its saying – Yahoo is on top!

  7. May 21, 2008 at 12:00 pm — Reply

    […] The Top 10 sites in Kenya article that I published a couple of months ago continues to draw lots of comments and reading. This gave me an idea. What if I could do a periodical round up of interesting Kenyan and International web sites that I come across every so often. Another inspiration behind this idea is the Blog IT column in Adam Magazine to which I made a contribution a few months ago. So, now, here it is, the first edition of SiteReview! […]

  8. June 10, 2008 at 4:00 pm — Reply

    Mr.Kemibaro, thanks for the networking sites that you parlayed on this article. I would like to add Linked in ( http://www.linkedin.com/in/poppa ) and Yahoo Answers ( http://www.answers.yahoo.com )

    Best regards,

    Mr. Daniel Chege
    POPPA PRODUCTIONS WEB DESIGNS

  9. Sally
    September 15, 2008 at 9:40 am — Reply

    I went through Alexa and was thoroughtly impressed with the amount of information available. Interestingly you can even tell which particular areas on the site people are interested in. Moses, just some few clarifications – when you look at the Safaricom rankings in the areas people are interested in within the site- it seems most of those who visit the website don’t go past the home page (at 78%). Is my inference correct? Also, is it possible to tell how many people visit a website – say yahoo-actual figures not percentages?

  10. September 16, 2008 at 4:35 am — Reply

    Sally,

    what happens is that the 78% refers to the fact that most people navigate to the homepage first. Alexa cannot track the internal pages that most people will visit. This information is normally available to the site owner by analyzing their log files using a software like Webtrends. Another way to track traffic is by installing a site traffic tool like Google Analytics. These tools provide very detailed information on actual hits and unique visitors to a web site. I hope this information helps?

    Moses

  11. September 24, 2008 at 7:14 pm — Reply

    Well i just wanted to make some clarifications concerning alexas indexing service. Well over and above the one hundred free analytics given by alexa,you can for some fee acquire all the detailed information pertaining to your site.This information will include the actual hits per page,the unique visitors,where they have been reffered from,their browsers and all such other information.All these can be found on their site under http://www.alexa.com/site/company/technology
    under the heading overall its a good source of info,alternatively one can use free site tools like bravenet http://www.bravenet.com.

  12. September 24, 2008 at 7:55 pm — Reply

    As for http://www.wanakenya.biz if you are a coder which i suppose you are,then you must surely realise that you have done nothing to optimise your site.I’m talking about SEO and SEM ,I would suggest you look at your meta tags i have seen the code the syntax is all wrong,plus the search robots,and crawlers cant see your site.So instead of wishing to make the top ten,you can actually work towards it.For more details hola at me at [email protected].
    Well as for http://www.vishasha.com,kevin your site is splendid,i mean real good.But you sacrificed too much for form over function.By using too much flash the search robots have problems seeing your site and reading i.e indexing all the pages properly.Also looking at your the source code of your home page i noticed you have not optimised the
    Tags at all,the only meta tag i see on your site is this
    ,you need that optimised and you need to allow search bots to see you so you can move from rank 3,162,810 (as of 25 sept 2008) to a plausible 100,000 worldwide i can help you attain that goal ,hola at me [email protected],The Search Engine University.

  13. January 6, 2009 at 6:00 pm — Reply

    Moses,

    I’ve been monitoring Alexa rankings for Kenya for a while. I have a problem with how Alexa gathers its information. If I’m not wrong, Alexa collects information from browsers that have their toolbar or some sort of plugin. This would make the rankings a bit bias though not entirely false. Would you mind clarifying this?

  14. […] had an interesting ranking of the top 10 mobile web sites in Kenya. Some time last year, I posted a story on the 10 most popular web sites in Kenya. Its interesting to see as below just how different the ranking stands when it comes to the mobile […]

  15. June 27, 2009 at 9:33 am — Reply

    Thanks for the statistics. Am also of the opinion that over and above the top ten world websites, you can rank Kenyan sites and that will be of much benefit to Kenyans and their websites. You can also rank future top ten websites where certainly http;//www.softkenya.com will be ranked top five. You doubt it/? just visit the site.

  16. September 15, 2009 at 12:31 pm — Reply

    I agree with Gachie-; help Kenya market their websites

  17. October 8, 2009 at 11:00 am — Reply

    hi Moses thanks for an informative blog.Also can you list the top 10 kenyan owned website

  18. November 24, 2009 at 10:16 am — Reply

    This is an accurate listing. How about sites and blog platforms that are owned by individuals and receiving great returns and traffic. It would be nice to rate individual effort on sites and know who is on top in Kenya self-made webmasters.

  19. January 22, 2010 at 10:41 am — Reply

    You should also consider doing a list of PURELY Kenyan websites which are popular. This one is great but Google and facebook are not truly kenya. You could call it “Most used websites by Kenyans” Yes EAStandards and Nation is perfectly rigth on spot

  20. Victoria
    January 23, 2010 at 10:54 am — Reply

    Thanks a lot this was very helpful. your information answered most of my questions

  21. […] Yet Americans export consumer web and mobile technology at a tremendous pace.  I ran across this post on a Kenyan blog that listed the top websites that Kenyans visit as of March, 2008.  Nine out of ten were started on […]

  22. February 12, 2010 at 10:33 am — Reply

    You should do another top 10 list. This one is now outdated. The top 10 has changed massively. I also concur with ‘Kenya Directory’ that you should compile a list of sites with Kenyan content.
    .-= Mr. Majani´s last blog ..Unataka Nini =-.

    • February 12, 2010 at 2:27 pm — Reply

      True 🙂 I have been meaning to update the list to reflect the latest rankings and key changes. Look out for that soon.

  23. […] Not Ranked  :  +0 / -0  0 score      Moses Kemibaro has done an in depth article on the top sites in Kenya. A must read for the people following this thread. Top Sites in Kenya as of Jan 2010 […]

  24. Daisy Irungu
    October 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm — Reply

    not axactly what i axpected

  25. Alex Ofio
    December 3, 2010 at 8:56 am — Reply

    Im also shocked by Kenyan lyrics, i know the developer, he started out from the most humble of beginnings if im not wrong a year ago….

  26. March 7, 2011 at 9:57 am — Reply

    What about the most popular KENYAN websites?

  27. Davy
    May 26, 2011 at 7:35 am — Reply

    What about the comical mwalimu andrew website? Its gone viral on facebook especially on Sundays

    For those who havent seen it;
    http://www.mwalimuandrew.com

  28. June 14, 2011 at 7:44 am — Reply

    And of course Chester House apartments, budget, serviced and otherwise is gaining….http://www.chesterhouse.co.ke

  29. June 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm — Reply

    You are cordially invited to the forth coming Tanzania Marketing Communication Conference 2011 holding on 24th June 2011 at Kempinski Hotel, Dar Es Salaam. Visit http://www.tmcc2011.com for more information. Karibu.

  30. davi
    July 14, 2011 at 11:38 am — Reply

    hi,

    its good to know that.

    visit this site as well http://www.homeserve.co.ke

  31. July 15, 2011 at 7:48 am — Reply

    the next big thing in Kenya.you can search for your lost National Identification cards,passports,staff id.etc as long as the where lost in Kenya,plus you get the service for free and you also get exclusive direction where to collect it.
    CHECK IT OUT

  32. September 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm — Reply

    Still on the issue of rankings, how come those on blogger have lost their rankings despite maintaining the same stats. Traffic on my site http://www.careerpointkenyajobs.co.ke has gone up by 8% and yet Alexa ranking has dropped from 26 to a low of 85 in less than a month.

  33. ROSE NJAU
    November 3, 2011 at 11:31 am — Reply

    Thank you for compiling the list for us,but from my point of view,employees don’t loose productivity because of social sites like facebook.Infact, fb has created a channel through which companies can advertise their goods and services both locally and internationally and with the population on facebook, good marketing can lead to increased sales and publicity……besides taking a break and catching up with friends once in a while in the office is not such a bad thing now or is it??

  34. November 8, 2011 at 6:43 am — Reply

    serving as a national and international authority in online internship mediation.

  35. November 11, 2011 at 8:40 am — Reply

    Hi Moses,thanks for taking your time to collect data and come op with these new statistics,this right here is a a very informative article,i am of the opinion that these websites should be put in some sort of categories like for example: Arts & Entertainment,Business,Computers,Travel and Leisure e.t.c as this would show who are the leaders in different sectors for example Property Leois the Leading Real Estate website.
    I like your interesting blog,heads up !!

    • November 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm — Reply

      @morris thanks for the suggestions. I will do a new list later this month.

  36. January 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm — Reply

    this is a great piece of information for us kenyans.all we learn from those online tutorials is that we should conduct a market research before embarking onon our advertising campaigns.bt they dont provide such raw data .
    thanks coz i didnt know of such a useful tool (alexa)
    plus moses,iam try to promote a kenyan online dating website http://www.tudate.com and it is becoming alot of workload through the natural /algorithmic method
    is there any way you can advise me?

    • January 13, 2012 at 5:03 am — Reply

      @jamuel I am not really able to give any advise except that promotion costs money – its as simple as that. At the same time, once you get traffic, you also need to ensure that your web site “delivers” on expectations, and therefore in this respect content is king.

      • January 19, 2012 at 3:31 pm — Reply

        thats true iam focusing on that now.
        that is have periodically updated relevant content .
        iam so committed.thank you moses

  37. January 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm — Reply

    What is more important for any website is how it ranks on Google for any particular keyword. It is still easy to rank highly for keywords related to Kenya.
    For example, I got http://www.school-chairs.com/ to rank in the top ten in just one month for the keyword “Kenya School Furniture”.

    • January 13, 2012 at 5:01 am — Reply

      @jzigne true but remember that the key phrase you are using is very specific to the kind of content you have on your web site. The idea on this list was to see which sites generally attract the most traffic.

  38. January 9, 2012 at 10:18 am — Reply

    i like ur blog. Can u check mine karemiblin.wordpress.com

  39. February 23, 2012 at 11:44 am — Reply

    A great blog for sure

    For all your Kenya property requirements
    echoproperties.kbo.co.ke

  40. March 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm — Reply

    this is a site to watch too
    http://www.sebule.com soon will be kenyan most visited website
    Sebule classifieds Kenya is a free content website for companies and personal users where everyone can post or publish an ad, services, new products or even second hand products free of charge. Buyers and sellers can post ads, publish or look for services and products at no cost within sebule classifieds as they browse all it’s pages with no need to register. Sebule Kenya is a web where anyone can buy and sell products or services for free.

  41. May 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm — Reply

    Hey Moses, what a good analysis. Is there anywhere where only Kenyan sites are rated?

    • July 1, 2012 at 8:09 am — Reply

      James, I did such a list sometime back. These rankings are clearly out of date. I am going to make some time soon to update it.

  42. August 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm — Reply

    Hi Moses, I actually landed on your page because I was searching for top local blogs. When you are listing top 10 local sites please consider mine http://www.wamaitha.com. Its a personal empowerment blog. Thankyou.

    • September 7, 2012 at 11:46 am — Reply

      @irene this list is somewhat outdated and it was arrived at using Alexa.com so can’t really “decide’ who is on the list except by their ranking? However, I plan to do some new list and we can see then what they look like.

  43. August 23, 2012 at 7:59 am — Reply

    Dear Moses,please check my website and advice. I am trying to promote it. How do i do SEO and how much does it cost?

    • September 7, 2012 at 11:45 am — Reply

      @Francis SEO can be a long process. There are many factors behind it. Reach me via the email address on this blog and I can point you in the right direction.

  44. October 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm — Reply

    Hi All,

    Something new which is a unique solution to free websites is PowerPage.co.ke (you have to check this out). Also Bargains is revamped and a totally different concept, the most targeted advertising solution out there. And lastly, KilaKitu.co.ke which integrates inventory management with a free web and mobile site for all sellers, big or small. all sites are free.

  45. December 11, 2012 at 6:39 am — Reply

    Love your thoughts here. I’d like you to visit http://www.socialmediaparrot.blogspot.com

    It is a good idea put in place.

  46. May 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm — Reply

    Online Shopping for Electronics, Shoes, Mobile, Laptops Fashion & More – Chukua Bargains [http://chukuabargains.com] Nairobi Kenya

  47. May 13, 2014 at 11:45 am — Reply

    grateful Mr Moses for this vital information,will try it soonest

  48. Erick Omondi
    July 29, 2014 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    I was expecting more than what i got but thanks anyway

    • July 30, 2014 at 6:20 pm — Reply

      @erick this is a really old blog post and seriously in need of an update? This could happen sometime in the near future.

  49. August 15, 2014 at 8:00 am — Reply

    Hi Moses, the online space in Kenya has developed by leaps and bounds since this post was published, especially with advances in e-commerce and the popularity of m-pesa. It would be great to see an updated list of the most popular websites to see how things have developed over the past few years. I would be particularly interested to see if any websites with .co.ke domain names would make it to the top 10 today. I recently launched http://www.onlinedating.co.ke and I am hoping to get the site to at least the top 100 in Kenya.

  50. June 22, 2015 at 1:25 pm — Reply

    A new entrant is skiza.net. There you can post photos and videos, create pages, chat with friends etc. Its also great for small businesses as you can use a rich text editor to describe photos and videos you upload with clickable links to your website thereby increasing traffic and Google pagerank to your website.

  51. February 12, 2016 at 12:23 pm — Reply

    Thanks for this list. Landed here while searching high PR sites in kenya. Your list will help me to get connected to some sites in kenya. Thanks so much. Hope to read more from you

  52. October 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm — Reply

    Interesting; I wonder where other Kenyan sites are on the list – perhaps a local listing would be awesome. With just Kenyan sites in the search results. People around have great sites!

    • November 13, 2016 at 3:26 pm — Reply

      @Muthomi this is list is ancient. Its changed alot since. We have more local websites in the top 10 these days.

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