Nigeria's Version of Google, China has Baidu


Hi Everyone.

Am most certain that we have brains that can build, design, code and deploy a search engine platform like Google for Nigeria that will process our 3 core local language, pidgin and obviosly english.

China is a populous country no doubt but their greatest strenght is Local Production of both product and services, they have Baidu their version of google.

I have been doing some research lately on " How Does Google work?" and read the book “How Google Works by Eric Schmidt”

  1. My heart BLEEDS when i have to consult a company abroad for local contents beside me,
  2. It also BLEEDS when i have to pay a company abraod for Search Engine Marketing also on local content.
  3. I still have to manually submit my website to Google to Analyse, Index, Craw, Rank and Display my content.

That means if i do not tell Google about myself in the first place then he does not even know about me.

With the rising cost of Dollar there is now level playing field for competition between us the developing nations and the developed ones, they can play with $1, but its about N500 here.

Bieng a computer science major, i know we have played with Algorithm in school and also did mini projects on search engine indexing, so i knew its not abig deal to build a search engine for our local consumption. I feel we have an upper hand here, all sites with, .edu.n, and .ng domains will be automatially list for starters, the ideas are still murky in our minds, but we welcome suggestions and intrested folks to come onbaord.

I looked around and found this article on Quora. Myself and a friend are now drawing the Algorithm, we need like minds and people that are intrested to build Search Engine Response Page SERP, totally for us.

Many thanks to @spokentwice, @samprog and @ososoba for their guides, and the link from @Ndianabasi was very impactful.


I will love be a part of this as I have for years tripped Russia(yandex) and China(Baidu).


The indexing is a very critical part of it: what stack do you want to use for this? I’m interested in joining it if it’s well defined.


@Shoguns2001, the problem is not about writing the codes. The fact is that 70% of search is controlled by Google.

So, even if we all put resources together to create a functional “anti-Google” search engine----with a mission similar to DuckDuckGo— it still a long shot.

In life, it is always good to make an attempt, so if we have ready hands, shoot for it.


Did Google affect Baidu? My answer NO. Baidu is bigger that the 30% you are talking about (which might be bing, yahoo and co).


@eaweb you feel me excellently.

@nwaomachux indexing is very key, i found out that search request are not processed realtime, when there is a request Google has presearched and indexed the result. It stores the domain url, title and meta description, we intent to use either artificial bee colony search indexing or tabu search indexing, what are your thoughts ?

@spokentwice well we are not really anti Google, we want to solve a problem in our region, if i were to be living in the US this wont have been a solution i will think of. Well like any new solution acceptance is the work not building the solution, there was, and before google. When Cheki started, they were the ones taking pictures of cars in car stands, giving free signboards to delaers and creating content fot these car dealers on their platform, when the platform had significant traffic they stopped, you have to create your profile for yourself, you pay N2,000 for every car you want to list on cheki today.

We feel if we take our hosting from, our code is developed by Nigerians and designed by Nigerians the BuyNaija to grow will help us since we are 100% local.

Also from the screenshot below whogohost said he has 25,000 domains this is a very good way to start. I beleive it will be mainly .ng based domains.

Also @eaweb @spokentwice we are not picking anything from Google, we will build from scratch, with eggs heads in the building that knows how Google works we can have a better algorithm to soothe our market and design. See also


This is gonna be interesting… :tropical_drink:

I guess you know what you read is not really how Google works and that the coding is the easiest part of the Google search engine.

God’s speed and good success.


All these things is much like the GSM exchange system. For example, If you are looking for your second phone inside your room, when you call, it first goes to an exchange point (most likely in UK) before it rings to the other phone.

So, in order to improve on this, players like GLO and MTN are investing billions of dollars in under sea cable and optic fibres…blah blah blah.

To bring this to context for search engine the real job that Google does is that they have archived zillions of data that can be accessed globally based on the algorithm they developed.

Unfortunately, that algorithm does not favour local search in Nigeria. If we set out to develop our own algorithm, then we must be willing to invest in servers to housed gazillion of data and make it available for query globally. To do this it looks like you are setting yourself up to launch a million dollar company

An investor will ask you, “what’s the size of the addressable market?”.

Please give consideration to the business side as well to know if it will be a worthy venture.

I am one of the clients at WhoGoHost/Smartweb, but my content is NOT hosted there. In fact, it is somewhere in New York (with digitalocean) and we have several others hosting with github and Medium. The spoiler is that WhoGoHost itself bought servers located in USA.

If you ask him, it will be a long, serious, costly venture to build anything worthwhile that functions like Google. …just for Nigeria content.

The advantage these players had was that Google was banned in their country.


@Shoguns2001 an important reason why Yandex and Baidu were able to succeed (despite the winner-take-all nature of search) is due to the barriers to entry posed by universally used languages and scripts - not to mention protectionist government policies in those countries.

I don’t see a similar situation in Nigeria.

Also, Google does have some support for Nigerian languages - for example.

Finally, search is one of the most technically challenging areas out there. Especially if you’re actually trying to build something that has comparable relevance to google results. I’m not saying it’s impossible to pull off in Nigeria but you will need to have access to a large number of elite level developers. I’m sure others on Radar can tell you how difficult that is

What I’m I trying to say? I don’t see a competitive advantage here…



You see i’ve thought of this problem too. But can you think of a problem doesn’t solve? Google has actually gone to great lengths to provide reasonable local content.


First I think there is no standard for Pidgin and building a search engine that supports Pidgin is not going to serve any other purpose other than the feel that it is Pidgin.

If you can read Pidgin, you most definitely can read English and I don’t think there’s a person in Nigeria who can only read Pidgin.

In China, there is a standard for Chinese and a good load of them only read and speak Chinese or feel more comfortable with it and seeing a site that has Chinese text is a huge relief. Same goes for Russia

That is one reason they are so successful in their respective countries. Nigerian sites aren’t also written in Pidgin so there will be a huge disconnect if the language of the search engine is Pidgin and the indexed sites have really nothing written in Pidgin. Most Chinese sites are written in Chinese, same goes for Russia.

This also applies for other Nigerian Languages, if you can read Igbo or Hausa on the internet, you probably can read English better.


Most people believes the Chinese and Russian version excelled because of language and indigenisation policy, NO. It only excelled because of Will to take the challenge.

Now its obvious we have a problem. @spokentwice Have you ever wondered why you go to, nairaland and linkaikeji instead of its localization and variety. A number of people want tiwantiwa.

The screenshots below is a sample program i did during my schools day on search engine algorithm i tested on now and even with the https, i was still able to fetch the content of the first page.


This idea is awesome…

But I am pretty sure that webmasters will still have to submit their url (if eventually it is built) in order for their sites to be indexed.:sunglasses:


Personally, I think your reason for going after Google isn’t strong enough and will falter without occasion…except there are no stakes here, perhaps a blue ocean trial?

At the heart of the web every site functions as a search engine; Cheki provides search for Cars - specs, price and where you can get them. Wakanow does similar for flights. Google plays outside this circle as a window to all the other portal on the web.

Even google’s had their grubs in flight schedule since 2009 (2nd tier search). The why, is obvious. The how is because the data is online, accessible, at a price, and structured.

Everything in Nigeria Google has consumed and archived, every single page and with every new update on ranking algorithm (mind only major updates are released with labels, dozens more are sampled outside the public eye) they learn more and more about the meaning stored within those pages. How long do you think you will need to do same, even with your localized experience (pidgin), before people begin to see value or before you begin to create new better value?

The problem with the local web isn’t indexing the available information or a better way of finding them, but bringing more and more information online. Do you know how many domains are registered locally? Do you know the width of content category spread across these local sites?

If you want to own one over Google you need to bring valuable data, uptill now offline, online. That’s how you get attention. Keep bringing new and valuable data online and you’ll etch out search value independent of Google’s dorminance.

Facebook brought all the worlds banter and thought stream into one massive pool and blocked Google out. People will always search for value wherever they can find it

*There’s more word play than meaning to that last part. Pay it little attention.


So what happens when Google eventually add pidgin to their languages? They already have the 3 major languages. Also, products like Baidu work in countries like China because the Chinese government have a knack for banning foreign products. If I’m not mistaken, they have their own Facebook clone with more Chinese users than actual Facebook. Russia too is known for banning a lot of websites from use and so local companies tend to thrive in those situations.

Nigeria isn’t going to ban any website. We’re a democracy. So on that note, I don’t see how this is a viable idea. You also have to carry out the task of convincing Nigerians that your product is better than Google (or “goggle” as Nigerians like to call it). That is a Herculean task I’m not sure is even worth the move.

All of this of course is just constructive criticism. I’d love nothing more than for you to prove me wrong and pull it off. But I just don’t see it happening.


Comparing and contrasting the two you stated at this time might take a while to get through. You decide between and and let the project move on from there.

Now, you talked about Apache Nutch earlier, that’s also good for the project, even though I’ve not used it more than once.

Good day


Sure, just like Google you need Google webmaster tool to get your site crawled. However we will build a local content crawling algorithm to populate our database and do the work for them, possibly in the early stage.


Please put your thoughts to paper and let’s see a possibility of having an meeting this Saturday.


Don’t get started with “We’re a democracy” thing. Expelling Diplomats is democratic?
Lets jus’ face the topic.

With reasons u provided, u have major point.
Democrazy aside, China and Russia are giants compared to Nigeria. These pple built more that Search Engines (programming Space Satellites, Space Rockets is a lot crazier!)
Goto sites like Hackerrank etc… Where is Nigeria vs China, Russia? 1 : ∞
Educational System? can’t be compared.
YES we’ve brains, a lot, not just @ their level.

Nigeria, we’ve alot of problems! It can still be done.
Building v1.0 is not problem, is what comes after!


Not bad!
But CNN travels where Linda and Seun won’t dare now!