Monday, October 24, 2016

2016-10-24: Are My Favorite Arabic Websites Archived?

In this work, I collected the top 20 Arabic websites that I like and browse, and in my personal judgment consider as popular (shown in Table 1). For each, I checked its ranking globally and locally based on Alexa Ranking. Then I used MemGator tool to check if it is archived, and got the estimated creation date based on the first memento date. After that, I checked who archived the webpage first (shown in Table 2).

Arabic websites in general were evaluated based on how well they were archived and indexed in my previous work, How Well Are Arabic Websites Archived?. We sampled 300,646 Arabic language pages, and found that 46% are not archived and 31% are not indexed by Google.

Table 1: List of my favorite Arabic Websites and its description
Website Site Description
maktoob.yahoo.com
Yahoo! مكتوب
A major internet portal and email service provider in Arabic language.
aljazeera.net
الجزيرة نت
News channel, political, economic, and thoughts.
6arab.com
طرب موقع طرب اغاني طرب كوم
Arabic singers and music directory.
alarabiya.net
العربية.نت
Arabic language news network. Breaking news and features along with videos, photo galleries and In Focus sections on major news topics.
kooora.com
كووورة: الموقع العربي الرياضي الأول
The first Arabic website of football featuring World Championships with an Arab follow-up and analysis of all events of football.
hawaaworld.com
منتديات عالم حواء
Women's network concerned with women affairs, life, family, cooking, children, and Beauty.
mbc.net
ترفيه، جدول البرامج، مشاهير،أفلام، مسلسلات، برامج تلفزيونية
The Middle East Broadcasting Center Group is the first private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab World.
alriyadh.com
جريدة الرياض
The first daily newspaper published in Arabic in the capital of Saudi Arabia.
ksu.edu.sa
جامعة الملك سعود
Established in 1957, King Saud University is the largest educational institution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and generally considered the premier institute for academics and research in Arab and Muslim countries.
abunawaf.com
شبكة أبو نواف - المتعة والفائدة
The site specializes in multimedia and entertainment, it also contains the biggest content for a mailing lists.
eqla3.com
شبكة الإقلاع
Sites and forums comprehensive that occur daily with what is new in all fields.
samba.com
سامبا: خدمات الافراد و المصرفية الالكترونية
Samba Financial Group (formerly known as The Saudi American Bank), is a large banking firm in Saudi Arabia.
sabq.org
صحيفة سبق الإلكترونية‎
Saudi newspaper was founded in 2007. Working in the field of electronic media, dealing with the most important local events in particular and the Arab and international in general.
ar.wikipedia.org
ويكيبيديا، الموسوعة الحرة
A free encyclopedia built collaboratively using wiki software in Arabic language.
mekshat.com
مكشات - الصفحة الرئيسة
A website interested in trips and camping.
cksu.com
تجمع طلبة جامعة الملك سعود
King Saud University students gathering, a group of human energies are working on a good environment for dialogue and purposeful upscale between students and faculty.
uoh.edu.sa
جامعة حائل
The University of Ha'il was officially established in 2006. The university is located in the north of Saudi Arabia.
ar-sa.namshi.com
موقع نمشي للأزياء, وجهتك الأولى لتسوق الأزياء في السعودية
Website is interested in fashion and online shopping.
arabtravelersforum.com
منتديات المسافرون العرب الاصلي
Travelers Arab forum is interested in tourism and travel.
vanilla.sa
موقع فانيلا
Website is interested in fashion and online shopping.

Table 2: Alexa Ranking and Archiving Results of My Favorite Websites
Website Global Alexa Ranking
Oct, 2016
Local Alexa Ranking
Oct, 2016
Memento count First memento date Who
archived
it
first
maktoob.yahoo.com 5 (US)=5 28,866 2009-08-31 IA
aljazeera.net 1,673 (SA)=174 20,468 1998-11-11 IA+BA
6arab.com 113,624 (Egypt)=6,120 12,991 1999-11-27 IA+BA+Archive Today
alarabiya.net 1,548 (SA)=37 9,737 2003-11-26 IA+BA
kooora.com 517 (Algeria)=15 4,658 2002-10-19 IA+BA
hawaaworld.com 10,026 (SA)=166 4,149 2001-01-10 IA+BA
mbc.net 1,195 (SA)=57 3,924 1999-10-13 IA+BA
alriyadh.com 5,136 (SA)=45 3,415 2000-02-29 IA+BA
ksu.edu.sa 6,093 (SA)=87 3,025 2000-03-02 IA
abunawaf.com 24,238 (SA)=413 2,446 2002-05-23 IA+BA
eqla3.com 9,741 (SA)=107 1,906 2000-05-10 IA+BA
samba.com 10,756 (SA)=129 1,451 1999-01-17 IA+BA
sabq.org 793 (SA)=5 1,170 2007-02-23 IA
ar.wikipedia.org 6 (US)=6 1,106 2003-02-09 IA+BA
mekshat.com 24,343 (SA)=404 828 2001-04-28 IA+BA
cksu.com 47,807 (SA)=708 643 2004-02-21 IA+BA
uoh.edu.sa 88,397 (SA)=806 210 2006-07-16 IA
ar-sa.namshi.com 10,968 (SA)=279 85 2012-04-05 IA
arabtravelersforum.com 31,259 (SA)=960 43 2014-11-29 IA
vanilla.sa 118,442 (SA)=1,053 13 2015-03-27 IA

Alexa calculates the global and local ranking of a website based on its traffic statistics. However, this tool is based on calculating the traffic of the domain. For example, if we check the ranking of the Arabic Wikipedia, ar.wikipedia.org, the tool will return the statistics of wikipedia.org instead. Based on this information we note that the top two global ranking in my list had an English domain. The two websites are maktoob.yahoo.com with a global ranking 5 and ar.wikipedia.org with a global ranking of 6. The third top global ranking website is kooora.com with a global rank of 15 and local rank of 15 in Algeria. Followed by sabq.org with a global ranking of 793 and a high local ranking in Saudi Arabia of 5.

In my list, I found that 4 out of the 20 websites were created before 2000. However, when looking in the archive I found that mbc.net domain was created in 1999 and it was in Korean language, then it became the Arabic website written in English in 2003, finally the Arabic version of the website was created in 2004.

mbc.net in 1999
mbc.net in 2003
mbc.net in 2004


Also, as expected I found that the Internet Archive was first to archive the webpage. However, in some websites I found that the Bibliotheca Alexandrina archive had a copy of the exact memento records, that is due to that the BA having duplicate record of the IA. Only, 6arab.com was first archived by three separate archives: archive.is, the IA, and the BA archive.

As for the memento count, I would expect that the websites that existed before 2000 had more mementos. However, two of the four webpages, samba.com and mbc.net, have only 1,451 and 3,924 mementos, respectively, which seems low considering how long they have existed. On other hand, aljazeera.net's first memento was in 1998 and has around 20,468 mementos, which is the second highest memento count in my list after maktoob.yahoo.com with memento count of 28,866.

The website 6arab.com is currently being blocked in Saudi Arabia (and access via the IA is blocked as well), due to violating the Saudi regulation of the Ministry of Culture and Information. So it does not have a local ranking in Saudi Arabia. Instead the top local ranking of this site is in Egypt.



-Lulwah M. Alkwai

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