View Full Version : What Multilingual Search Market Do You Represent?
07-23-2004, 12:01 AM
This forum needed a little more activity, so here we go . . . :)
As a continuation of this great introduction thread (http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=34) by Moderator Kal, let's run a quick poll so that we can see at a glance what Multilingual Search Market each of us represent. Then feel free to discuss common issues (barriers or threats) and opportunities in your market.
Ok, I'll go first . . .
U.S. Hispanic Market & Latin America
For the U.S. Hispanic market, interest from the corporate and advertising world still lags behind for search engine marketing. When trying to explain what SEM is to these folks, they look at you like, "is this similarly to nuclear engineering?" Then, when they more or less get the picture, its like, "Yeah, I've already got a website." with no idea how users get there or they think their brand is as popular as Coca-Cola. Hispanic sites still lacks in a lot of content in Spanish. Current PPC providers have low distribution partners and there are no Paid Inclusion programs for the Hispanic portals.
For Latin America, FLASH websites are seen as the coolest thing in the world. Surprise :eek: no traffic from the search engines, go figures. Otherwise, websites are more likely to look like what they where in the U.S. 6-8 years ago. You know, weird looking backgrounds, no navigation, flashing banners every 100 pixels apart, no idea what anchor text works (so click here, here or here is everywhere) and the list goes on and on. Users on the other hand are totally disappointed for relevancy results and very very slow Internet access. To the point that going online is basically for retrieving emails and instant messaging, but going out to surf the web . . . boring! Try browsing at 10 mins per webpage.
For the U.S. Hispanic market, they are huge, very BIG. With a market that is already spending $5.6 billion (http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?p=3438#post3438) online in 2003 from what they can and what is available in English, just imagine what you can do if you effectively market to them in their own native language. That’s right, results and ROI. PPC can be so cheap, you would laugh your head off. Try $0.10 with many travel keywords, for example. This market is like the U.S. in 2000, ready for growth.
For Latin America, there is a lot of need of SEO. Once companies understand it, you become their new best friend and be considered GENIOUS. Just show them what the power of SEM is with ROI and they have money, you’ll see. This market is like the U.S. in 1998. Wish you could take that “Back to the Future” ride, well this can be your chance. There are tremendous opportunities for (SEO) copywriters here too, as there is a lot of need for content.
07-23-2004, 03:21 AM
I've voted to say that we are European specialists. Most of our work concerns Europe - but principally we work on web sites that are multilingual - in other words generally more than two languages.
For us the greatest demand, after English, is actually for German and after that Dutch but we also get requests for French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Czech and have dealt with projects for Polish and Russian.
We get lots of questions about Chinese and Japanese - but so far no serious projects.
Bear in mind that most of our customers are English-speaking - looking to move their business into these markets - so the languages which are most popular don't necessarily represent the opportunity - more their first thought in terms of export.
Dutch for instance is a popular first export market for UK companies because if feels very similar for :) Brits to the UK.
Our philosophy is to aim to manage the projects within one office with native speakers sitting together and working together on the projects - but we don't achieve that always and do work with partners in other countries too.
Anyone who's looking for an interesting new 'language' market to move into - I'd suggest French/France. By comparison with English markets, it's still not so competitive (pay per click prices for France are often much lower than UK/Germany). The French used to have a very effective alternative system - Minitel - which meant they adopted the internet a little later than others - but that market seems to be growing exponentially at the moment.
Dealing in many languages presents a different set of challenges - accents of course - but also when is 'stemming' coming (Google) and what are other search engines doing than Google which still seems preeminent most places apart from the UK (where it's still top - but not quite the monopoly it can be elsewhere). :)
07-27-2004, 02:01 AM
I've voted for European market, too. Our place (Saratov) is in the European part of Russia, though the Asian part, which is larger, visits the same RuNet and reads and writes in exactly the same language. My own UK-based company that hires an offshore-based team (myself included) to do the job, doesn't count. We target English search market. So I will speak about my country in general.
The Search Engine king (Google) is still not so popular in Russia, though there is google.ru, and google.com allows us to set and use any language via the preferrence settings. Yandex (http://www.yandex.ru), Rambler (http://www.rambler.ru), and Aport(http://www.aport.ru) are much better known, which is, IMHO, not so good for us. Google is still incapable of "stemming" Russian morphology (it's very complicated indeed), but it brings much more relevant results than our local search engines do. Currently the mail.ru SE makes attempts to combine Google search algo with an advanced Russian morphology feature.
The SEO industry is, though, well developed, and is currently gaining popularity. More and more webmasters realize how important and profitable it is to optimize their sites properly. The design of good corporate sites is now becoming more and more elegant, decent and SE-friendly, but lots of home pages hosted for free may cause a somewhat wrong impression about our web-building industry.
"Black hat" techniques are also a bit more popular in Russia than I would like them to be. I'm doing everything I can to fight them, but there is not much I can do yet :(
The opportunities are great. We are still at the beginning of the way, and as the economy grows, our SEO is bound to face a boom of its own together with everything that goes with it.
That's how it all begins...
07-27-2004, 07:57 AM
I am based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, so many of my "local" clients are trying to sell into two language sub-markets, English and French, that may be of comparable sizes.
Clearly to the French market you have the really big additional problem of dealing with accented letters. If you think mis-spellings are a challenge, then you've never thought about accents. At least with mis-spellings the vast majority will use the correct spelling unless it's a somewhat complex name. With accents, you don't know how anyone will spell a word given the keyboard and software problems. Of course, they're also trying to guess how the search engines will handle the accented letters. It's really a pig's breakfast.
07-27-2004, 09:55 AM
Nacho, thanks for pumping some life into this topic!
We work in the U.S. Hispanic Market, and have been struggling with a few main problems:
1) We know the opportunities for Spanish website translation and SEM are HUGE for websites that are maturing and can afford to try marketing to a new demographic, but most typical U.S. Webmasters have difficulty prioritizing this.
A) It is difficult to for them to know ahead of time if it will "work", and if so, how well?; B) Even if they believe it will "work," they are (sub)consciously nervous about content managment and displaying content that they themselves cannot read; C) customer support in Spanish is always a chief concern for companies that don't have the capacity yet to handle a Spanish phone calls D) Because these site owners are often making decent money from their monolingual site, translating the site and marketing into another language competes with all the other possible marketing projects on their plate, and since they are already nervous about B and C, translation has that much harder of a time making the cut.
However, it's a no-brainer that this is where things are going in the sense that the U.S. Hispanic Demographic for Internet marketers is very good and only getting better. My feeling is that sites that do it sooner rather than later are going to be able to take advantage of their improved brand recognition and presence within the online marketplace, but JEEEZ, it's tough to make a sale in this area...!
07-27-2004, 01:49 PM
Wow! I'm seen great responses from the Members and the poll is taking nice color. Hopefully we'll get a lot more participants. :)
MEMBERS: Don't forget to "Rate this Thread" at the bottom of the page and "Rate this Post" to your fellow Members which you Agree or Disagree with their post (located on the right hand side of every post next to the little scale). This will add to their Reputation Scores and others can add to yours.
06-29-2005, 03:00 AM
>>> BUMP <<<
With over 5,000 members, it's time to give this thread a bump. Please feel welcome to take the survey.
Aussie Google is King of search here in Australia (and New Zealand) and last I checked NineMSN (XtraMSN for NZ) and Yahoo Australia/New Zealand were a close second and third respectively. Interestingly, Overture (Yahoo! Search Marketing) has been the leader in the local PPC industry over AdWords.
Issues: Australia is at least 3 years behind the US in terms of search marketing in general. SEO is still a pretty new idea here and something a lot of agencies outsource because it seems "too geeky" to bring in-house. That said, there is a growing SEO cottage industry run by home-based and small businesses. Unfortunately, many of these are using black-hat techniques without fully understanding the risks or explaining them to clients. Large corporate firms still don't seem to understand the importance of usability over design and so SEO can be a hard sell, but lately there have been some terrific stories about Google's success and the growth of search worldwide in the local media and this is starting to sway the corporate world.
Opportunities: There are very few decent local search engines and zero pay per click engines of real note here. Mooter is starting to get a good following and Web Wombat has a loyal following (I believe the are Australia's oldest engine). But really the market is wide open for some new search blood, particularly smaller end PPC players as many small and medium businesses claim AdWords and Overture are too expensive for them.
08-07-2005, 03:17 PM
My clients include several Gov of Canada departments (Heritage, Industry, Foriegn Affairs) so I'm getting a pretty good view of multilingual issues :)
So much so that I have just formed a relationship with a translation service, and am looking for a bilingual assistant (not easy to find in Calgary).
It's a challenge, but then everything worth doing is. :cool:
08-08-2005, 03:14 AM
Hi mcanerin, i guess you're talking about someone who writes and speaks french and english very well. We are a bilingual seo firm since we are from a country where both french and english are official languages.
Here the official written language is english for everything except legal documents where legal issues are governed under the Code Napoleon. People speaks english and french without any disturbance, but we speak mostly french but write mostly english. Great paradox.
We've designed and optimized bilingual websites for big guys and small guys.
If you need some help as far as french is concerned you may give us a call, we would be pleased to help. :)
I am from Bulgaria, but I have experience in multi lingual SEO, including English, Bulgarian and Romanian. While working on the Romanian site I used the services of a translator to help me with keyword research, title and meta tags and with registration in Romanian directories. Content building was left for the site owners. I am currently negotiating a SEO contract with a Hungarian marketing company, so I hope I will have experience with Hungarian, too.
The Bulgarian market is rather small. Currently there is only one SEO firm, specialized only in SEO, but the demand for SEO services is increasing every other day as webmasters, e-commerce managers and small business owners begin to understand the value of SEO.
There are no official statistics about that, but having access to the stats of about one third of all the Bulgarian websites (thats a lot of websites, you know)q I have concluded that the most used SE is google, at around 55%, followed by the three major search portals and directories in Bulgaria (one of them owned by my company). On a very big distance there are Yahoo and MSN. Traffic from altavista, alltheweb and netscape is negligible.