Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SMX Madrid - Target Global

Ah; managed to find a power supply here in the huge Spanish conference centre and get some juice back in my laptop batteries - enough for a spot more live blogging.

Next up is the Target Global session. We've Matias Perel and Rand Fishkin speaking. Rand has sunglasses on his head and a beard - must be Spanish.

Do you know what... Matias looks a lot like Massimo Burgio. I wonder if there's been a last minute speaker change. Yep. No Matias.

Targeting US/English Language Regions

Rand promises less corny American jokes. Awww.

We kick off with Hitwise's market share graph they did for Search Engine Land. The one that shows Google with a huge 67.9% blue pie slice of the US market. Poor old Yahoo and Microsoft with just slivers. If I squint... oh, I think I can see... it's Ask.com.

Now the Hitwise chart for the UK. It's worse here; they have 73% with Google UK and 14% with Google.com. Yeah. Do the maths.

If you look at Western Europe - it's Google, ebay and Yandex. Hmm. Yandex? I wonder if someone in Moscow is currently sulking that they've just been lumped in with Western Europe.

In Canada Google has a 90% market share. Ouch.

In Oz and New Zealand - 90% Google too. That leaves Yahoo and nineMSN with about 5% each. Rand points out that Yahoo and MSN have their TV partnerships (7 for Yahoo and 9 for MSN).

Israel... go on, guess the number... yeah. It's 90%.

So! Is there anywhere Google doesn't rule?

China - Baidu 55%, Google 21.7% and Yahoo 7.2% Rand notes that when he was in China you could search at Google but get your results back in Baidu. The government was forcing the ISPs to do this... easy to see why Google might struggle.

Russia - Yandex 47.5%, Ramber... rumours that Yandex's share is much higher.

Japan - Yahoo, Google and MSN in that order. Searching is very vertical so lots of traffic goes straight to, for example, shopping pages.

Korea - Naver 72%, Duam 11% and Yahoo with 6%. Rand reckons the future of social search might be echoed here. When you type a query into Naver, before you see the SERPs, you get UGC answers.

Czech - Seznam 62%, Google 24%, Centrum 5%, Atlas 3% and Jyxo 0.5%

Also something about Estonia - but I blinked.

Rand says search engines look at the geographic location of your IP address. They look at the geographic association of your domain extension. He notes that .com, .org, .net have become English language centric.

The registrar information is also used. He says Danny's a hippy. On-page address information is also used.

Language can be used too but can be frustrating. Take Spanish, for example, there are a lot of people in the US and Latin America who write in Spanish and then Google assumes they're targeting Spanish users.

Rand toys with the idea of targeting SEOMoz to just Spanish traffic. :)

Ah... on to the challenge of targeting two or more countries via Google's WMC. It's true that you can't do it on one domain but you can register two folders (or more) and geo-target them.

Why doesn't Google use the Dublin Core meta tags for language/country targeting? Not enough sites use them.

What's important for Google?
- trusted domains
- trusted links; Rand reckons 1 or 2 trusted links can be more useful than 500 other links
- the dreaded sandbox; Rand reckons we'll see more of this in languages Google's not so confident in

What's important for Baidu?
- phone up Baidu and buy the organic traffic
- lots of traffic is multimedia centric

What's important for Yandex?
- similar to Google but less influence on domain trust
- rumours that you can ring up and buy changes...

What's important for Naver
- be social; get the community to write about you

What's important for Yahoo Japan
- it uses Yahoo search technology
- some focus on domain authority
- some focus on keyword use
- slightly easier to game

What's important in local engines (Seznam, etc)
- talk to a locals

Targeting the US
- competition levels very high; with the exception of some UK results
- best spam detection
- best spammers
- lots of link evaluation; lots of links discounted

The US population expects a high level of user experience. You need to do well here in order to get those editorial citation links. This is why blogging is popular.

Rand says he's not a monkey.

Here's a big question; Why am I ranking well in one enigne but not others?
Here are Rand's answers;
- different weighting of links
- different crawling/indexing index - Google is more robust; Yahoo & MSN are more flaky
- different keyword usage limits - easy to go overboard on Google
- different ways to measure 'valuable vs thin content'
- sometimes historical issues with the domain or IP address can cause problems

Getting Local Results from Anywhere in the World
- Rand shares the &GL=<country> trick with the audience
- ie; &GL=US or &GL=DE (for Google)
- for Yahoo; simply go to the country specific domain

And that's a wrap! Now onto the questions.


... oh. Wait. Massimo's talking about SEMPO again.

2 comments:

burningmax said...

Hi Andrew, this is Massimo -

Of course I don't look like Matias, and Rand is not Spanish - and yes of course I have to mention SEMPO, as I speak on its behalf.

But I thought I cut it short as an introduction, before talking about cultural adaptation vs. translation/localization, and effectiveness of SEO on local domains vs. blogging power and social media (where Rand Fishkin didn't agreed completely - and he is right, as a good SEO strategy can get rid of most blogging efforts).

I think I touched base also on the fact that, despite of the huge predominance of Google (not anywhere in the world, as shown by Rand), it is important also to be relevant towards other Yahoo and MSN due to their content network and service adoption (mail, news, finance, social, etc.).

And I had a quick public chat break with Rand about Burning Man, of course... ;)

But yes, you are right - I might have said "SEMPO" a few times in excess, sorry.... =)

Andrew Girdwood said...

Thanks for the comment Massimo.

I have a love-hate relationship with SEMPO (and other attempts to orgnise search agencies) so I suspect my readers expect me to notice when they're mentioned.

I thought your overview of Italy, which followed the intro to SEMPO (http://blog.arhg.net/2008/05/smx-madrid-target-europa.html), was very good. From the agency point of view it was good to discover yet another case of Google's sales people confusing the operational side of the business and simply winning accounts.