Googling South Africa
19 January 2005
South African internet users may have noticed a few extra options on their Google searches recently.
Since 14 January 2005, all computers with a South African IP (Internet Protocol) address have been redirected to www.google.co.za when searching on Google. There, users may have noticed the inclusion of the words "South Africa" underneath the Google logo.
The world's most-used search engine now offers searches in Afrikaans, Sesotho, isiXhosa and isiZulu.
As well as the language options, there is also the option to limit the search to the South African web only.
Arthur Goldstuck, MD of Web Worx and long-time industry analyst, told ITweb that he did not expect the new site to change the way in which South Africans search on the net.
He pointed out that South Africans already use Google.com for their searches, and that Ananzi.co.za offers a different type of service.
"Yahoo would be more of a threat to Ananzi", Goldstuck said. "Google is plain vanilla, designed for going directly to a site, made up of automated content, whereas Ananzi and Yahoo are content-rich and multi-faceted portals."
Ananzi MD Mark Budwala also did not expect the newcomer to affect South African searching habits. "Large numbers of South African searches still come to us, whereas the international searching goes to Google and Yahoo, more so to Google", he told ITWeb.
Google now offers over 100 country-specific sites and almost 100 languages. A further 50 languages are in various stages of translation, including Siswati and Setswana.
Google currently indexes more than eight billion URLs, 880 million images and 10 000 news sources.