Why Yahoo South Africa Fails As A Search Engine

According to Yahoo! South Africa, SA is in the UK! At least that is the impression you get when trying to find local South African companies on Yahoo search. I must say I got really excited when I saw the new Yahoo! South Africa logo thinking that maybe, just maybe Yahoo was finally going to offer local search for South Africa users. Unfortunately this was not the case. After doing a simple search for “SEO” I was greeted with results that were anything but South African.  I tried a search again with “restaurants” to see if we get a few SA restaurants (after all we are on the Yahoo South Africa website) only to find the following:

How to Get Search Results Targeted To South Africa?

This is the main reason why Yahoo fails as a search engine in South Africa. In order to get local results you need to jump through a few hoops EVERY TIME you want to do a local search.

Step 1:

First you will need to do a search just to get the options box to show up (very inconvenient)

Step 2:

You will then need to locate the “Advanced Search” located under options

Step 3:

Once in the settings find the “Country” option and change it to South Africa. I am not sure why Yahoo does not do this automatically considering we are in Yahoo South Africa… My guess is ignorance, they presume we want to see all their UK & US crap.

Once these steps are followed you will be able to get some local search results however, you have to do this process every time as it does not keep your setting. For some reason when you change your setting to South Africa the nice Yahoo South Africa logo becomes Yahoo UK (very confusing) and Yahoo now adds the “pages from South Africa” option which should have been their from the start. You will also notice that Yahoo still adds their “only in UK” and “only in Ireland” options. This is stupid in my opinion as we have just told them in the advanced settings that we want SA results.


It seems Yahoo is making a half-job attempt at targeting the South African industry however they have no clue on how to do that. My guess is that South Africa is more a gimmick to them than a valuable target location. My advise to Yahoo is, if you are going to target a country (any country) then do it properly or do not do it at all. Do not try to merge your UK services with other countries because… we don’t care! Do not make it a 5 step process to get local results and please, please, please hire someone that has local knowledge of the country you are targeting. South Africa is a country and not “Africa”, so South African News should not include Uganda, Egypt etc. If you want to include news from these COUNTRIES then please call your headline “Africa News”


  1. Artur Szalak January 5, 2012 Reply

    Looks like one big developer’s flop.

  2. Anonymous January 24, 2012 Reply

    Yahoo or should I rather say Bing has no regional search capabilities hence the stange organic results ….

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