Egypt Yellow Pages 2010 Zeitgeist

2010 was a year characterized as being the most successful year in the history of Egypt Yellow Pages. I am pleased to announce to you today the local search trends from Egypt’s number one local search site (if you want to see 2009 search trends click here)

One very interesting trend to start with is that the number of Arabic search queries super passed the English search queries for the first time on Egypt Yellow Pages. Arabic is now taking the lead with 55% of the search queries while English queries presents 45% of the total search.

Here are the top 10 searches for 2010:

  1. Restaurant
  2. Hotel
  3. Company
  4. Pharmacy
  5. Bank
  6. Real Estate
  7. Advertising
  8. Furniture
  9. School
  10. Factory

Continue reading


Twitter Stats in Egypt

With some huge statistics ranging from 80 million visits per day (reported by ComScore) and 190 million visits (reported by twitter) and more than 110+ million users, there are no clear statistics if any about the activity, stats or number of twitter users from Egypt or even the number of Egyptian tweets.

A world of tweets is a a twitter heat map developed based on sampling from Twitter API, according to the geographical area. So i tried to monitor Egypt, at a time that is expected to be a high peak, it’s 8:45 PM, and Egypt has just beaten Australia 3:0, so i guess many people would like to tweet about the big win of Egyptian national team and the goals of Zidan and Gedo!

I kept the page open for 10 minutes and i was surprised that there was no activity on Egypt area, even though there is activity in some gulf and middle east countries (i wouldn’t say MENA region, since there is no activity in North Africa) like Saudi Arabia and UAE, some African countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Even Liberia!

Twitter heat map just after Egypt Match – No activity in Egypt

3 minutes later i was able to barely spot Egypt, with very little traffic apparently.

Twitter Activity 3 minutes later – Egypt can be seen

Twitter in Egypt is not yet a big thing, i am not saying it is not magnificent, it is indeed a mean of communication used by the blogger and activists, some politician and some major companies and brands in Egypt. However, it has not reached the point where you would find3 or 4 of your 300 or 400 Facebook friends have an account on twitter.

Well, that make my estimate, twitter has 1/100 or less of the number of users Facebook has, Facebook has in Egypt about 4 million users, that makes roughly 40,000 twitter users, …. wonder how of them are active and how much created a twitter account and said: “This is my first tweet” or said something like “I am having Pizza for lunch” and then never used their account again because they didn’t get the idea of it.

Let’s wait and see how things go, but i don’t think twitter in Egypt is taking off any soon. Though i am very proud of the 1,250 twitter follower that Egypt Yellow Pages have today. Putting in mind that our activity is relatively low on twitter, sending tweets a couple of times a week.

Egypt Yellow Pages Twitter Followers

That said, all respects goes to the the active twitter user base who where able to do positive changes, like the pressure that was done on Vodafone Egypt to remove their Abbas Ibn Fernas Ad, which was removed from Vodafone Egypt Official YouTube channel recently. If you want to read more about this topic just login to twitter and search for #VodaFly.

Do you think my estimates are accurate? More or less than the reality? Do you have the real numbers for twitter number of users in Egypt? if you do please share your opinion here.

Continue reading

Suggest a new name for the mobile phone

I still remember the speech i heard from Ray Hammond the popular futurologist, when he mentioned that once upon a time they used to call the cars when they were first invented “The Horseless Carriage”, So its all about the horse that we use as a transportation method, there was no terminology  such as “Car” at that time… In the future the same is gonna happen to the  “mobile phone” according to Ray.

This has almost been confirmed in the latest report that Nielsen announced today. A phone call is becoming less popular, texting is becoming more wanted by everyone specially the teens. Can you believe it is primary reason people buy the cellphone is to send SMS’s?

Source: Nielsen

I think it’s time now to start finding a new terminology for the device once called mobile phone.

Youtube 2009 zeitgeist

Youtube decided this year to announce their 2009 statistics to the public, the following are the top 5 videos:

1. The Inspiring: Susan Boyle – Britain’s Got Talent

Anything in life is possible if you just try hard enough and never give up your dreams

2. The funny innocent: David After Dentist

This boy is high, he thinks he has 2 fingers!!

3. Pure Happiness: Wedding Dance

Fun People 🙂

Egypt Yellow Pages: Year 2009 Wrap-up

Another year has come and gone, i’m taking a moment here to look back at what happened in 2009, what people want in Egypt, what they are looking for and interested in.

Saying goodbye to 2009 and welcome to 2010, this is what people are interested in

Top 10 searches in during 2009

Hotels remain in number 1 like 2008, Restaurants jump from 4th position to second position, Schools comes in the third place while Banks drop 2 places to be in the 4th place.

Cars move out from the top 10 and Pharmacies enter in the 10th position.

Most popular businesses in during 2009

As for the businesses, HP retains its first place for the second year, DHL and Western Union comes in second and third places. Followed by Telco companies Vodafone and Raya, as for banks CIB jumps this year above HSBC, and finally cafes and fast food restaurants appear for the first time in the top 10 list: Cilantro, KFC followed by Pizza Hut in the 10th place.

Prefered visitor language for in 2009

One more interesting fact is that Arabic version of is getting more attention, usage has increased from 40% in 2008 to 45.8% in 2009 almost reaching the English. This is a direct result of enhancing the arabic search logic which now produces better and much more relevant results.

2009 was just a great year for Egypt Yellow Pages. 2010 will hopefully be even better, we will keep doing our best to serve our visitors and enhance their experience.

Merry Xmas and Happy new year to everyone 🙂

Pay Per Click campaign: Is it successful?

So i took the 60$ credit i have as Google AdWords credit and decided to start a mini-campaign to see how the Pay Per Click advertising model works. Here is the story:

I created a campaign for the Egyptian stock market section that we launched at Yellow Pages, i thought it could use some more traffic. I followed the guidelines and chosen my words and the minimum bidding CPC that google recommends for each word to appear in a good place in the search results page and in the Google partner network websites that are relevant to that topic. After this i specified the daily budget that i want which was 2$ per day that i reduce later to 1$ when i was about to run out of credit later 🙂

Here are some words i have chosen that were approved by google as good traffic words: Egyptian stock market, Egyptian stock market news, Egyptian Bursa, EGX30 prices, Talaat Mostafa Stocks, Mobinil Stocks, ….

CPC was pretty cheap, $0.05 for Egyptain Stock Market, some words were cheaper other words were more expensive…. I’m just gonna focus here on this word…

So everything was set and i got around 80 hits on the first day of campaign July 16th 2009.. The larger portion was coming from Google network website not from Google search results page but it doesn’t matter… very nice, i though i just put this to bed… but i was wrong.. look at the below:

 Google Adwords Traffic

On 17 July, hits dropped to 25, so i opened the control panel to see what was wrong, if found that google suggest me to change the CPC bid amount to $0.07 for Egyptain Stock Market instead of $0.05. I did that and here we go again, hits reached 80’s again.

On 21 July and 27 July, I had to re-adjust the CPC again and again until it reached $0.21 which seemed after this that it was not enough… I just started to give up, i can’t keep monitoring this way on aday to day basis… I have other more important stuff to do than adjusting some keywords CPC… I took a look after a while and i found that the CPC recommeneded by google Passed the $1.10 margin!!

CPC for Keywords

I was paying 5 cents for a keyword and getting good traffic. Now i am paying 21 cents and hardly getting any traffic.. Then i was expected to pay one dollar for each click!! All the credit i have (60$) and was planning to use for one month would now evaporate in one day.

I don’t really understand the pattern, what happened during these 2 weeks that raised the bid amount for Egyptain Stock Market from 5 cents to 1 dollar?? is it really people paying more in that word suddenly, does it make any sense that no one was interested in this word at all and all in a sudden everyone wants it?? or was this some way Google AdWords drag their customers to invest more and more by offering words for a little price at the begining and then gradually increasing the value until it reaches the market amount? i don’t really know but i know 2 things for sure:

  1.  I don’t like PPC model, too much complicated.
  2. Normal end users and SME would find it extremely difficult to manage this on their own unless provided to them by an advertising agency that manages their account. Putting in mind also the special needs of customers in the middle east and that they would rather have someone do these things for them instead of doing it themselves because it is too “technical”. Self provisioning and PPC model might not be the best advertising solution for MEA region.

The Yellow Pages time-based contractual model is simple, efficient and easy. If you compare it to PPC model it is also much more cost-effective.

iPhone Beats Nokia and Others!

A couple of days ago i made a post about how Egypt Yellow Pages iPhone application traffic is 60% more than the rest of the Mobile Yellow Pages traffic combined…

Today i will explain this more, we should be actually looking at the smartphone traffic share rather than the sales share. According to October statistics published by AdMob, iPhone smart traffic share represents about 50% of all the smartphone devices including Symbian, RIM, Windows Mobile, Android, Palm, …

Smartphones Worldwide Traffic Shares

So how did we reach this situation? It was just a step by step… Traffic share for iPhone:

  • Feb 09: 33% share
  • Aug 09: 40% share
  • Oct 09: 50% share

Traffic share for Symbian:

  • Feb 09: 43%
  • Aug 09: 34%
  • Oct 09: 25%

Android looks also promising, from 2% in February to 11% in October

Mobile Yellow Pages traffic gets a boost

I’m sitting now looking at the statistics for Egypt Yellow Pages mobile portal and iPhone application. I still can’t believe that the iPhone hits surpassed the mobile portal hits almost by 60%.

In the past 90 days, mobile portal pages views reached 100k whereas iPhone hits exceeded 160k. These reports are generated by admob, the mobile ad platform that has been especially popular on the iPhone, which was acquired by google this month for $750 million in stock.

If you look at the global smart phone market share you will know why i am surprised, apple is no more than 14% of the global market share with probably even less percentage in Egypt, as opposed to Symbian OS market share (Nokia and Others), which is more than half the market share.

Mobile Handsets Market Share

Mobile Handsets Market Share

I believe that the reason behind this mystery is that almost all iPhone users connect to the internet, download and use new applications each day. The iPhone is pretty much useless device if you are disconnected. Moreover, since its launch, Egypt Yellow Pages iPhone application has been a great success, one of the top free apps in Apple AppStore.

Download Egypt Yellow Pages iPhone application

Learn more about Mobile Yellow Pages