Global share of Google traffic from African countries has grown substantially since 2012
Google Transparency’s traffic to Google products and services allows anyone to track how a selected nation’s traffic is growing compared to the worldwide average. Google uses the page to look for service interruptions (network outages and government blocks). By looking at normalized traffic within a country we can find growth trends that often correlate with submarine cable launches and/or political events.
The global share of Google traffic coming from African countries has grown anywhere from 25-200% since the start of 2012. YouTube has driven much of the growth, with many nations reporting twice as much traffic in April 2013 as even only a few months prior. Traffic growth in Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Guinea, Liberia, and Sao Tome appears especially strong (but likely started with a low base). Angola and Kenya show noticeable spikes in YouTube traffic during election periods.
As Google points out, the traffic trends can only be used for relative comparisons within a country. Absolute traffic is not provided. If it appears that traffic in a given region is decreasing over a long period of time, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the amount of Google traffic from that geographic region is actually decreasing. It just means that the selected geographic region’s traffic is growing more slowly than the worldwide average.
This traffic data is available for most African countries. We’ve summarized some highlights of traffic to all Google products, Search, and YouTube as they apply to a country. All references to ‘traffic’ are for share of global traffic for the particular Google service.
Algeria: YouTube doubled since June 2012.
Angola: All products doubled since early 2012. YouTube spike in August 2012 during presidential elections.
Benin: YouTube rapid growth in March 2013.
Botswana: Slow growth for all products since 2011.
Burkina Faso: YouTube growth in April 2013 after steady trend since 2010.
Burundi: All products nearly doubled since early 2011.
Cameroon: YouTube doubled since late-2011.
Cape Verde: YouTube growth noticed in June 2012 as WACS cable went live.
Central Africa Republic: All products nearly tripled from February 2013 to March 2013 but declined sharply in April amid national strife. YouTube traffic nearly quadrupled in this period.
Chad: All products saw a major spike in March 2013. Traffic has tripled since mid-2012.
DR Congo: All products saw a major spike in June 2012 and have doubled since then. YouTube traffic has quadrupled.
Congo (Rep.): All products have quintupled since May 2012 and are up by 50% since March 2013. This year has seen a major increase in YouTube traffic.
Cote d’Ivoire: Overall, there’s been a gradual increase in all products. YouTube traffic doubled in April 2013.
Djibouti: Steady traffic overall, but YouTube nearly doubled from mid-2012 to April 2013.
Egypt: YouTube traffic increased rapidly in August 2012 and has remained at that level since.
Equatorial Guinea: All products have more than doubled since mid-2012 with a rapid increase noticed in August 2012.
Ethiopia: All products have seen a 50% increase since the start of 2012. YouTube traffic has tripled in that time.
Gabon: All products have doubled since the start of 2012. YouTube has quadrupled, with a huge spike at the end of March 2013.
The Gambia: A decline in traffic was noticed in August and September 2012. Traffic is now back at those levels. YouTube traffic has nearly doubled since January 2013.
Ghana: All products have seen a 40% increase since mid-2011. YouTube traffic quickly grew in 2012, but has declined in 2013.
Guinea: All products have tripled since July 2012 with a major spike in August 2012. YouTube and Search have doubled already this year.
Kenya: Overall traffic is up by 35% since the start of 2011. YouTube rapidly increased in August 2009 and again in June through August 2012. Traffic spiked during the 2013 presidential elections.
Lesotho: All products have doubled since April 2013. Search has doubled this year. YouTube has increased steadily since September 2012.
Liberia: Overall traffic has tripled since June 2012. Search growth increased in February 2013. YouTube saw spikes in late-March 2013.
Libya: After limited Internet access in mid-2011, traffic soared back to normal in September 2011 and has remained at the same level since. YouTube grew in August 2012 and has stayed elevated since.
Madagascar: YouTube traffic doubled from May to August 2012.
Malawi: Search traffic declined in February 2013 and is back at May 2012 levels. YouTube traffic has almost doubled in the past year.
Mali: Search traffic has doubled since May 2012. YouTube traffic spiked in March 2013.
Mauritania: All products traffic doubled in January 2013. YouTube is up 50% this year.
Mauritius: YouTube traffic quickly increased in August 2012.
Morocco: YouTube traffic has doubled since April 2012.
Mozambique: Overall traffic has increased by 50% since the beginning of 2012. YouTube traffic rapidly increased in August 2012.
Namibia: YouTube traffic has doubled since mid-2012.
Niger: Search traffic rapidly increased in December 2012 and has increased since. YouTube traffic has been elevated since March 2013.
Nigeria: Search traffic increased from April 2012 through August 2012. YouTube doubled since July 2012 and has increased by 50% in 2013.
Rwanda: Overall traffic has almost doubled since early 2012. YouTube has more than doubled since growing in July 2012.
Sao Tome and Principe: All products spiked, quadrupling on March 14, 2013.
Senegal: Overall traffic has remained fairly steady since 2009. YouTube has doubled since early 2012.
Seychelles: YouTube nearly doubled in August 2012.
Sierra Leone: Overall traffic has doubled since the start of 2013. Search traffic spiked in June 2012. YouTube has tripled in 2013.
Somalia: All products have tripled since 2011 with a 50% increase occurring in December 2012. Search has slowed since mid-2012 but YouTube has doubled.
South Africa: YouTube increased by 35% in August 2012 and has more than doubled since mid-2012.
Sudan: All products are up by 50% since October 2012. YouTube rapidly decreased in October 2012 but made gains the next month.
Swaziland: YouTube has quadrupled since mid-2011 but remains mostly unchanged since August 2012.
Tanzania: Overall traffic saw a 25% increase since the start of 2012. YouTube traffic rapidly increased in August 2012.
Togo: Overall traffic has nearly doubled since the start of 2012. YouTube has tripled in that time with spikes in August 2012 and March 2013.
Tunisia: Search has declined gradually since 2011. YouTube has doubled in that time with noticeable increases in January 2012 and March 2013.
Uganda: YouTube traffic nearly doubled in 2012, especially from June through August.
Zambia: All products have doubled since mid-2012. Search traffic quickly increased starting in June 2012. YouTube traffic spiked on August 14, 2012 and hasn’t looked back.
Zimbabwe: YouTube traffic is up ten-fold since 2009 and three-fold since January 2012. Like Zambia, traffic quickly jumped on August 14, 2012.