17. Makerere University mak.ac.ug Makerere University, providing world-class teaching, research and service relevant to sustainable development

18. Tradecarview tradecarview.com

19. MSN msn.com Portal for shopping, news and money, e-mail, search, and chat.

20. Arsenal.com arsenal.com The official site with fixtures, league table, reserves, youths, ladies,

There are a lot of lessons media houses and other online publishers can draw from this popularity listing to be a wining entity online. While I will not delve into these lessons today, I should mention that since media houses (including newspapers) have traditionally not got much revenues and their importance from straight news, it is important for media houses to consider establishing and monetising other websites that are not necessarily news websites but sites that make it easy for people to access news, information, data and to connect with others.

I think you also need to consider what other online products you as an online publisher have other than your primary domain that might be well ranked. For example, in all fairness, Daily Monitor has an e-paper website where it provides PDF formats of its newspaper content as it appears in print, with even audio for the system to read the content for the user. Now that is an online winner and it attracts its own traffic separate from the www.monitor.co.ug website. Yet the e-paper pages are not readable by search engines (not friendly with PDFs and flash formats). Just as there might be websites with protected content and advanced logins that do not allow search engines to navigate and index the website’s content.

So from blogs, job and business directories as we see on many Ugandan websites, to podcasts, video channels, live coverage, communities, forums, and games that could make our websites better, online publishers need to evaluate what else they are offering users online before clapping for how popular they are on one channel or platform when online users are busy in other channels meeting their news, information and entertainment needs.

Inside posts of Weinformers.net

For example despite the low bandwidth, Ugandans are vigorously checking Youtube videos and how many of our ‘newspapers’ have a single video on Youtube? While I maintained a reference to “online newspaper”, you need to remember as I always emphasise that online is not and cannot be a newspaper (news-on-paper) and you need to think of multimedia news and information products that take advantage of the interactive medium that online is. Otherwise, why should you miss out on all that hunger for video, games or intimate connections?

Reputation Ranking and Search Engine optimisation

I would also recommend that you also look at other web ranking metrics and see how you perform on all of them, so that they inform a better editorial policy and strategy for your online content. For example Mywot reputation ranking (found by adding your domain to http://www.mywot.com/ ) compares websites on four areas of trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy and child safety,- all key concerns in online publishing business. Here is the reputation ranking for a few selected Ugandan websites

The New Vision… http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/newvision.co.ug

Reputation rating:
Trustworthiness 75
Vendor reliability 57
Privacy 54
Child Safety 73

Weinformers.net http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/weinformers.net

Mywot.com – Reputation rating

Trustworthiness:        99%

Vendor reliability:     99%

Privacy:                        98%

Child Safety:                 100%

Daily Monitor http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/monitor.co.ug

Reputation rating:
Trustworthiness 83
Vendor reliability 81
Privacy 84
Child Safety 84

I just selected a few websites to compare, and you will find some websites are not ranked on some parameters, for example The Independent and Observer are not ranked on child safety and privacy as oj January 25th 2011.

Dont forget to try out other website ranking services like http://www.ranking.com/ http://www.alexa.com/, www.directory.ac/websiteranking.html, www.googlerankings.com/,  www.advancedwebranking.com/, www.websitetrafficrankings.com/,  www.rankthis.com/, www.websiterankingtool.net/, www.kpmrs.com/, www.advancedwebranking.com/, www.rankwhere.com/, www.mywebsiteranking.com/, etc…you might uncover statistics and facts that however small might help you improve your overall web performance.

But please, remember that website traffic is a result of many factors, among them optimizing your site for online (many users search content), advertising the website on and offline, design, usability issues, social networks integration etc…and you thus need to consider a lot more factors in understanding your online success or…

While  good and unique content is the strong most single important factor, with some people shortening it as “content is king” online, we need to remember that kings work well when they have good palaces, a queen, chiefs, assistants, chefs, policies, works and good ways of interacting with and serving their subjects.

Gerald Businge is a Ugandan Multimedia Journalist, Trainer and Researcher. He manages www.informers.net, www.ultimatelisting.org and other projects of Ultimate Media Consult, Reliable Media Consult and Ultimate Multimedia Training Services.