EXCLUSIVE: Major SEO War Looms As Konga Buys ‘Jumai’ Domain Name

seo war

Let’s admit this: we’re all at war.

Remember when Dealfish hijacked the word ‘jobberman’ in its Google Adwords campaign and claimed it was not a deliberate attempt or attack on their competition, Jobberman?

And how we exclusively reported that Rocket Internet has been registering ‘Konga’, its major competitor’s domain names in at least 10 countries including South Africa (konga.co.za) and Kenya (konga.co.ke) since June 2012?

We’ve just learnt from a tip-off that Konga may now be involved in the SEO war against its major competitor, Jumia, as it has purchased the ‘Jumai’ domain name (jumai.com.ng) — as of January 17, 2013 — which now redirects to Konga.com, and could remain so for the next five years or more.

Update: 17/01/2014The domain name Jumai.com.ng doesn’t redirect to Konga.com any longer.

With both companies having recently been linked with possible merger talks, one could easily think that they’re just fond of each other.

In case you don’t know, ‘jumai’ has been a top search keyword on Google since Jumia was launched last September, and shows up varied key-phrases such as ‘jumai online store’, jumai fashion’ and ‘jumai website’ when users search for the word ‘jumai’, perhaps mistaken it for ‘jumia’.

Some news media sites have not even helped, as newspaper sites like The Punch and Financial Technology Africa have headlines that read: Jumai instead of Jumia, which may have increased the likelihood that users would be searching for ‘jumai’, instead of ‘jumia’.

Or maybe they’ve noticed that ‘jumai’ is now a top search keyword. Heck, yeah, our headline and tags for this post are riding on the back of the keyword too — for SEO and SEM purposes. Why not?

While we’re not sure, Konga may also be using ‘jumai’ as keyword in its Google AdWords campaign, although several searches we did couldn’t reveal Konga’s website on the search results.

But whatever the case, these anti-competitive moves from both companies in recent times may just be what it takes to start a major SEO war in Nigeria which could see companies targeting domain and brand names of its competitors.

Or maybe we’re just being paranoia about these tussles that may just go away without any issues between the companies involved.

In the meantime, we’ve reached out to Konga and Jumia for their comment and would bring you more updates as we know more.

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  • Ezra Olubi

    We await the update[s]

  • Dare

    This is not news. So long the company name is not Trade Marked, then anyone can bid on competitor brand names for keyword purposes. Very poor article

  • Op

    I think its a good article, btw. Anyone can bid, you say, but misleading is also another thing. Ecommerce has a lot to do with trust, and in the world of collecting people’s money, trust is everything.

    I reckon Jumia will be a trademarked name and then they will come after Konga for intent to mislead.

  • http://twitter.com/Ayakinfemi Ayode Akinfemiwa

    Zero sum competition

  • Helen

    I think it has a lot to fair-play and trust. In a country where people are still finding it hard to familiarise themselves with online shopping, then it simply suggests you don’t care whether or not your customers should trust you. So it’s just like I want to buy “close-up toothpaste” which I am already familiar with, and the shop-owner offers me “close-down toothpaste”. I’ll simply walkout and believe they are not ready to sell.

  • EddyP

    Anyone that has played in the Internet space for a while should understand that you don’t register jumia and leave jumai unregistered. The similarity is too close. When domain names are as cheap as water now, I would expect Jumia to have taken up all similar domain names to the name Jumia.

    You don’t register Google.com and leave out Gooogle.com. These are names that your competition will take up. Its common sense.

    Anyone remember the story of Mike Rowe Vs. Microsoft? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_vs._MikeRoweSoft

  • Dare

    You people just dont get it. There is nothing wrong in bidding on competitors name and wrong spelling. Same way Konga can buy conga.com and cheki.com buys checki.com. OLX can bid on the keyword Checki and cheki because they know if a browser searches on that brand name, they could also check their own website..

  • Texazzpete

    Meh. The real story should have been “Jumia stupid enough to not register the ‘Jumai’ domain name”.

    This should have been a no-brainer.

  • OluF

    I found another online clothing store recently shopnaija.co.uk, not sure about the shop yet, hosted in the uk so hoping it will provide a decent service. I have not used jumia yet, is it a good service, timely delivery etc.

  • http://twitter.com/NairaSolicitor Chukwuyere Izuogu

    Typosquatting things…

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