Archives For Search Engines

Google’s approach of rolling out their technology gradually throughout the world showed great success when conquering western markets and seemed to work OK for africa aswell. No other search engine had it’s user interface translated to Zulu, Afrikaans and Xhosa years before they opened an office in South Africa or any other African country and still today there’s no competition within

Back in the very early Google years using voluntary user contributions with their Google in your Language service and is constantly adding new languages. But there seemed to be weak spots where Google was not able to roll out it’s infrastructure on a global level in other fields, because they involve too much professional local knowledge and infrastructure and this is where I was delighted to see some real progress in the last months:

Google Mapmaker allows people to edit and contribute to maps in countries where no professional map making company has gone before. The (infrastructural and marketing) power that honorable open source map projects like openstreetmap did not have meets usability and the result is great map data for all countries in Africa.

Today there was now the big news (via TC): Google launches SMS based services for the ugandan internet community. Some of these services like Google Trader (think of Craigslist/gumtree/kijiji simplified and via SMS only) are build exclusively for Google Africa and I’m sure we’ll see them rolled out and succeed in many african markets soon. The initiative carries the Google logo, but was initiatiated by the Grameen Foundation and MTN and they describe it as:

“The suite of five mobile services, provided using Google SMS Search technology and the MTN network, includes Farmer’s Friend, a searchable database with both agricultural advice and targeted weather forecasts; Health Tips which provides sexual and reproductive health information, paired with Clinic Finder, which helps to locate nearby health clinics and services; and Google Trader, which matches buyers and sellers of agricultural produce and commodities as well as other products. The services are SMS-based and designed to work with basic mobile phones to reach the broadest possible audience.”

My personal perspective is that education driven by technology is going to be the THE MAIN source of development in Africa and I love seeing google use it’s market power to help development to those who need it most. I’m looking for ways how I can personally contribute my knowledge to efficient projects in this area and I urge anyone with the killer idea how to bring knowledge to Africa to share his ideas… Not only this video shows that it’s going to be the mobile phone that’s going to bring development to Africa:

When I split my blog into a German and an English one, I was aware that I wouldn’t blog too much on the English one, while living in Germany. But I really didn’t plan to blog THIS little, so I’m just trying to give you a rough overview what happened and what’s coming up very soon.

October 17th-18th is going to be a big day for the german online marketing industry. More than 8000 visitors are going to visit the leading online marketing düsseldorf (OMD – renamed to dmexco in 2009) fair and afterwards more than 700 of them are going to visit the OMclub Party organised by me. This event is title-sponsored by and co-sponsored by many well-known companies and friends of mine. We started small by planning an alternative party to the big and boring official party but were overwhelmed by the positive response from visitors and sponsors alike. If you go to Düsseldorf this year make sure not to miss the OMclub event!

We used this opportunity of so many marketing heads directed into our direction to give our newest project an extra boost. We aquired (a leading German Mac and iPhone blogazine) in June and now decided to sponsor the OMclub event with an iPhone 3G 16 GB (without any contract or SIMlock) from We think this is the coolest price you can give and just hope someone would ever give us a similar present… 🙂 We hope that alot of webmasters will agree and participate in our competition, because this iPhone is given to the person who appears in the first spot on for the keyword “Befreiphone. Befreiphone is a made up term, that can be translated as “freed phone” so we want to show how useful an iPhone without any SIMlock could be. I’d love to have such an iPhone, as I could use it with my german SIM as well as with my South African Number…

Besides aquiring we also moved into new larger offices in April, wrote a (real hardcover) book about 10 years with and had a blast at the office opening / book release / birthday party early August.

Update from September 29th: The Befreiphone SEO-Contest was a huge success with circa 3000 blogs and mainstream media sites like or participating and the newly coined term ‘befreiphone’ gets more than 550,000 results with Google as of today. This and other contests created alot of buzz during the hectic OMD days for our OMclub that was a smash hit. With 1000 party-goers attending we grew bigger than anyone expected and observers blogged that the OMclub was more talked about than the actual OMD-fair we all came to visit… (Photos)

As you can see there is lots of business and partying going on right now in Germany and I’ll be happy once all this is over and I can finally return to Cape Town in October to concentrate on the South African business again…

Just a short hello to all the folks I’ve met so far and I’m hopefully gonna meet at this year’s Search Engine Strategies in San Jose.

I’ve just finished todays Webmaster on the Roof radio show together with Marcus ‘Mediadonis’ Tandler and many other guests. All guests and more background are on During the show a TV-Team from 3sat/ZDF appeared we were interviewed about Google and related subjects by Journalist Dagmar Hovestadt for a piece that will be aired on the ‘neues’ show somewhen in November.


gulli and friends in San Jose

SES was a very good show so far, but the real fun is just about to start soon. The Google Dance 2007 is gonna happen tonight and we’ve got a lot of partying to do. So far I’ve met too many people to list, but I’m sending special shouts to Thorsten ‘trafficer’ Loth, Marco Ciachera, Jill Sampey, Marcus Tober and Pascal Fantou.

The Anti-Googlebomb Algo myth

Randolf —  July 24, 2007

If Matt Cutts says that the Googlebomb Problem was solved using a new algorythm that must be correct. After all it THE Matt Cutts from all-beloved Search-Engine Giant Google! Or is it possible that they lie to you? Why do they still claim that everything on Google’s result pages is still ordered by algorythms? Because it’s still done the manual way, they still don’t get the ‘smaller’ language-specific Googlebombs like the case of ‘völlige inkompetenz‘ (complete incompetence in german) that ranks the austrian politician Karl-Heinz Grasser #1 when searching for it with Google:

Völlige Inkompetenz

funny enough: when the safe search is activated the politicians webpage does not appear in the Google results. Does it mean that Google thinks of this Politician’s (empty) homepage as an adult site?

safesearch on

There were too many lies about Googlebombing-Algos on the internet – hope that stops somehow soon. Google just started manually modifying their rankings on a massive scale and tries to hide that from their observers.

On a side note: the most impressive changes in the search rankings due to the manual anti googlebomb ‘algo’ was caused for the term ‘exit‘. Before Google shuffled the results the Top 3 spots were occupied by, Google and Yahoo, who’re linked by tens of thousand adult sites with an ‘exit’ button on their index page but that is gone by now.