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Vanguard, one of Nigeria’s leading newspapers has emerged on the list of top 5 most visited sites in Nigeria on the Opera Mini browser, according to the April edition of the Opera Mobile Web Report.

The report ranks Vanguard just below BBC.co.uk, thus beating other content news sites such as Wikipedia, Goal.com and CNN Mobile. In February, the site ranked 8th most visited site in Nigeria on the Opera Mini report.

Vanguard has since improved on their content production and distribution and seemed to have re-evaluated their content strategy. Vanguard now remains the 2nd most visited news site after the BBC site and Nigeria’s most visited site on Opera Mini.

Some of the reasons for this surge in the rankings could be attributed to the Nigerian elections in April 2011, which saw a huge increase in mobile usage and hunger for election-related news and reports.

Another reason could be that Vanguard sits on the default landing page of the opera mini browser, so it’s natural to expect existing and first time users of the Opera Mini browser to visit the site.

Will Vanguard move up further in the rankings? I doubt this. In fact, the site will likely drop in the rankings in the Opera Mini report for May 2011, particularly because the elections are over.

Will other Nigerian news sites copy Vanguard’s mobile web strategy? While I’m not sure if they even have a strategy – whatever they’re doing – it’s sure working for them.

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