What are Papua New Guineans looking at on the Internet?


Which are Papua New Guinea’s favourite websites? While it’s no surprise that Google and Facebook dominate, Business Advantage PNG‘s analysis of web rankings data suggests local content is holding its own.

Search engine giant Google owns the three websites most visited by Papua New Guinea web users: google.com, google.com.pg and youtube.com. Two other Google services feature in the top 25 sites visited in PNG, according to current data from web ranking service, Alexa.

Alotau born, US-based PNG hip hop artist Jay Lieasi ranks high on Facebook

Given this, it’s not surprising to learn that Google is in the process of installing its own caching engine in Port Moresby, with the aim of speeding up its services for PNG users.

Next, in fourth place, comes Facebook, the world’s largest social network—a service as many as 370,000 Papua New Guineans now access, thanks in part to data-free deals from their mobile carrier.

(And PNG’s most popular Facebook page? That of Alotau-born, US-based hip hop artist Jay Lieasi, according to Social Bakers.)

Other major global players to appear in PNG’s top 10 are: Yahoo, Wikipedia and LinkedIn.

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PNG’s top website

It’s a surprise, perhaps, to see one PNG website in the top 5. It’s not BSP, the Post-Courier, PNG Loop or even the PNG Electoral Commission (which is understandably experiencing a surge of traffic at present), although all these appear in PNG’s overall top 20.

‘Business network LinkedIn features in PNG’s top 10.’

Rather, Alexa says PNG’s top local website is that of Divine Word University. Fellow tertiary institution Unitech is close behind at No.10. One wonders how many countries in the world have places of learning as their most popular local websites. It’s quite encouraging.

These two aren’t the only way web traffic in PNG differs from Alexa’s global rankings. Business network LinkedIn features in PNG’s top 10, but globally ranks only number 25. By way of contrast, globally Twitter is the 12th most popular website, but only just makes it into PNG’s top 50.

Local competition

There are also some interesting local match-ups, according to Alexa.

Its data suggests The Post-Courier website (No.15) is slightly more popular than that of The National (No.24); employment website pngworkforce.com is slightly more popular than pngjobseek.com; ANZ’s website is more popular than Westpac’s (although both fall well behind BSP), while Nasfund’s website is currently busier than Nambawan Super’s.

‘There is the darker side of the internet.’

There are some clear category winners, too. Most popular source of overseas news? The BBC. Most popular real estate website? Hausples.com.pg. Most popular sporting website? Nrl.com, of course!

And then there is the darker side of the internet. It’s no surprise to see illegal file sharing, gambling and porn are popular in PNG, but the prevalence of the myway.com virus, which is controlling a lot of web traffic in PNG, is quite alarming. If you’re struggling with it on your PC, you’re clearly not alone.


Finally, it’s worth pointing out that web rankings like Alexa’s—which base their results on web traffic over the past three months—are not a predictor of future popularity but rather of past success.

Sites will rise and fall in the rankings depending on all sorts of factors—what services are deployed on a site, the emergence of competition, improvement in web speeds (PNG’s relatively slow download speeds encourage the use of a site like Savefrom.net, for example), seasonal factors, and even changes to search engine algorithms.

So, feel good if your site is up in the rankings, but don’t feel too good. The job of keeping it up there has already begun.

Top 20 PNG-related websites (source: Alexa web rankings, July 2017)

  1. Divine Word University (education)
  2. Loop PNG (media)
  3. Lae University of Technology (education)
  4. Bank South Pacific (financial services)
  5. The Post-Courier (media)
  6. The PNG Electoral Commission (government)
  7. The National (media)
  8. PNG Facts (media)
  9. Telikom PNG (telecommunications)
  10. PNG Blogs (politics/opinion)
  11. PNG Workforce (recruitment)
  12. ANZ Bank (financial services)
  13. Air Niugini (transport and tourism)
  14. EMTV (media)
  15. PNG Job Seek (recruitment)
  16. Nasfund Savings and Loan Society (financial services)
  17. Investment Promotion Authority (government)
  18. Department of Finance (government)
  19. Digicel (telecommunications)
  20. Westpac (financial services)

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