Internet

Ananzi revamps search

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Local search engine Ananzi has partnered with Norwegian-based company Rubrikk to rebrand and revamp its service offerings.

Rubrikk created and operates one of Norway's top aggregator sites, and has been working with Ananzi on an enhancement project since early last year. The Norwegian company has developed the necessary software and platforms for Ananzi and its new section, Ananzi Ads.

Ananzi.com MD Mark Buwalda says the launch of the new iteration of Ananzi search is the culmination of a long and involved process of 12 months of intensive research and development.

Ananzi Ads aggregates classified ads from South African sites into eight searchable categories, including cars, property, jobs and entertainment.

“We are confident that the technology offered will be of huge benefit to the South African user. This is a natural and exciting evolution of the Ananzi search offering,” says Buwalda.

Rubrikk marketing director Adil Osmani says: “We want to make it easier for all South Africans to gain the best overview of the market. We will provide the users of Ananzi Ads with a one-stop shop - whatever you need, you will find here.”

Osmani says all classified ads will be searchable via Ananzi Ads, which he believes will give transparency to the market.

“We want to make it easier for all South Africans to get the best overview of market offerings.”

Optimisation

Ananzi says while its traditional search will still be available, the new section will add more values to its search options.

Buwalda explains the ads are aggregated from an index of South African sites, using RSS feed information. There are currently 71 Web sites aggregated by the service.

“We're still tweaking the categorisation process, because we initially classify ads in accordance with the way in which they're classified on the site of origin. But, of course, this is not an exact science, so we're looking at refining it.”

Buwalda adds that many online classified sites duplicate ads, so the Ananzi Ads aggregator sifts through the duplications.

In terms of allowing users to post ads directly to the Ananzi Ads portal, Buwalda says at this stage he thinks it would be a bridge too far that would put Ananzi in direct competition with the sites it aggregates. “That is not our task here,” he notes.

“Our aim is to become strong in this space. We know the only way to survive is to optimise.”

Hosting move

Users can subscribe to a daily e-mail service, which sends updates on the newest ads for the particular categories they are interested in. In future, Ananzi will look at ranking the ads higher or lower on the site.

Buwalda says Ananzi's current user base is in the vicinity of 250 000 users. However, this figure does not include Ananzi Mail users - of which there are about 165 000.

According to Buwalda, Ananzi's decision to move its hosting overseas has cut operation costs to a tenth of the price. “We have a completely new infrastructure and it's working beautifully and seamlessly.

“I urge local companies to look at Ananzi as a world-class service.”

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