This article came up on the ever-sporadic Google Africa blog. Basically, those business owners who want to geographically target their AdWords in Kenya and South Africa can now do so. It’s good news, although when it comes to Kenya, we’ll see how it works out as the satellite connections they use to a large extent are notoriously hard to track location on due to the identifying land IP they get being the one where the connection touches down. So, if the satellite link you’re on touches down in England, you appear to be from England, even though you’re actually in Nairobi. Obviously this will change a great deal with the new cable lighting up, but for the time being, it’s an issue that I’m rather curious about as it completely cripples this new system how I see it.
The other thing that I’m vastly mystified about is that there is no mention of how people from Africa are to either pay for AdWords or for content publishers to be paid for AdSense displays. As I’ve mentioned before, Google has no practical payment set up for anywhere in all of Sub-Saharan Africa. I’ve looked over the Adsense blog to see if I missed some recent announcement, but nothing pops out. Surely it would make sense to have a blogger writing in Nairobi who talks about some new restaurant that just opened up to get paid AdSense revenue if the owner of that restaurant wants to use AdWords to promote it next to the article about it. That’s how the model works in the rest of the world and it seems logical to me they’d want to continue it here. While it sucks to criticize new innovation in Africa, there seems to be a tremendous disconnect here that is really not helping out anyone and I’m really hoping that I’m daft to something awesome that’s happened recently.