Arabian Business / Accenture Web Index - February 2002 Report

The Arabian Business Web Index team has been working hard this month to try to broaden participation in the Web Index. The work partially paid off when Planetarabia (www.planetarabia.com) came on board.

  • E-Mail
By  Peter Conmy Published  April 4, 2002

Aljazeera.net|~||~||~|Click here to view the Arabian Business/Accenture Web Index for February 2002"

The Arabian Business Web Index team has been working hard this month to try to broaden participation in the Web Index. The work partially paid off when Planetarabia (www.planetarabia.com) came on board.

However, Aljazeera.net, the online version of the popular news channel, initially made positive noises about coming into the Web Index, but unfortunately declined at the last moment.

This was some surprise. Al Jazeera reports on its own Web site that it receives seven million total visits per month. Such a figure, if verified, would make it one of the most visited, if not the most visited, Web site(s) in the Middle East.

Why not have that independently verified, especially since Al Jazeera’s state subsidy has ended and it now has to pay its own way through advertising and content deals? Such a well visited web site would be a very attractive vehicle for advertisers. What better way to promote itself to those advertisers than to be independently rated by the Web Index as one of the region’s most popular sites? Arabian Business had also hoped that Al Jazeera’s commitment to openness and transparency might also extend to sharing information about itself.

Aljazeera.net, an Arabic only site, also makes an interesting case study in light of a new report from Pyramid Research ‘Capacity and Content: Internet Opportunities in the Arab Middle East.’ The report’s authors, Joseph Braude and Guy Zibi, argue that English speaking Arabs are now largely online, and that future user growth will come predominantly from those less proficient in English.

“The ‘Arabisation’ of web content and the computer interface is a major driver of Internet uptake in the region,” the report says. “New users will include lower and middle income class Middle Easterners and more affluent communities in the Gulf [that are less exposed to the English language.]” Aljazeera.net’s audience figures would have provided a clear indication of whether that is true or not.

Arabian Business hopes that Al Jazeera will change its mind and come on board soon. Planetarabia provided more cheerful news, although it only agreed to submit its own data to the Web Index. The site is an Arabic/English/French language portal competing for the same audience as Maktoob and Arabia.com.

However, although still predominantly advertising driven, it has been trying to modify its business model to reduce dependence on advertising. Its long term goal is now to reduce advertising to 50% of revenue, the other half coming from unspecified fee-based services.

Last year, Planetarabia attracted investment of over a million dollars from Arab Digital Distribution (ADD), the pay TV giant. Planetarabia reported 609,251 unique visitors for February, a figure that makes it one of the region’s top five most visited sites.

Also this month, Maktoob’s unique audience number dropped slightly, although it still welcomed over one million unique visitors. Arabia.com is going through some changes to its web site and will resume participation in the Web Index next month.

Click here to view the Arabian Business/Accenture Web Index for February 2002"

Please send your feedback and forward your Web site’s results to: david.ingham@itp.net.

||**||Web Glossary|~||~||~|Ranking in category by page views: Web sites are ranked according to the total number of page views reported in the sample period.

URL: Internet address of the Web site.

Site description: Web site owners have submitted their own descriptions. These have been edited by Arabian Business.com due to space constraints.

Site category: Categories have been formed by Arabian Business.com for the purpose of comparing Web sites in a like-with-like environment.

Total number of visits in period: The cummulative total of visits to a site in the specified period. A person visiting more than once in the sample period will be counted every time that person visits. Visitors to a site for a prolonged period, i.e. opens a Web site and leaves that site open on his machine all day, can count as several visitor sessions in that day. Web tracking software can effectively call a visitor session closed if it remains inactive for a predefined period.

Average duration of visitor session in period: The time taken between entering a site and leaving a site.

No. of new visitors in period: A count of visitors who have not at any time been logged by the Web tracking software.

No. of unique visitors per month: Unique visitors are counted using the visitor's IP address, domain name, or cookie.

No. of page impressions in period: A count of hits to pages defined as documents or forms by the Web tracking software. In most, but not all cases, a cick to a new page within a Web site will count as a single additional page impression. The supporting graphics on pages are not counted.

Sample period: The dates during which the log data was generated.

Verified by: Note of whether the visitor data has been checked by Arabian Business.com and Accenture or whether the site owner has supplied data without independent verification.

Click here to view the Arabian Business/Accenture Web Index for February 2002" ||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code