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Old 10-27-2004   #1
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European Search Landscape - Live From SES Sweden 2004

I was a bit late getting to the conference, but I made it here for the second track. I decided to attend a new session named European Search Landscape. Here are my notes, please excuse any typos, this was done in real time.

Stefan Forsberg discussed some statistics relevant to the European market.
- 77.4 million users of search engines per month in Europe
- 2003 to 2004 you will see a 19% growth in search usage
- Google, MSN, and Yahoo are the major engines in the UK, but Yahoo is number 8 in Sweden
- Sweden is also lacking behind in search usage compared to the European market.
- Sweden is growing faster then france, Italy and the other European countries
- 57% of Sweden search users are male (expect an increase in female usage soon)
- A popular local search is named enrio
- 90% of search users are satisfied with the results (yahoo, google, msn) measured in the US market
- 77% of users in the UK use sponsored links

Massimo Burgio from ad maiora was up next. He spoke at the San Jose conference in 2004. He discusses the pros and cons of Europe being a growing market. The cons included unethical practices and bad business practices. But there is a lot of push towards paid search, not really on the organic side. He said that Google and Overture (and others) are staffing the paid search departments with local people who speak the local language. Big brands in the European market are "fully aware of the potential of our industry", not so in the US market. The local competitive market varies, some countries you find friendly collaborative business environments and in some countries you find fierce competition. He briefly then touched on the different cultures in Europe and how it affects how SEO firms operate.

Per Koch from Pandia Search was next up, he started off in some language (maybe Swedish?) but then went to english. He discusses the difference between "search sites" and the companies that power the search sites. His first slide started off reading "Search engine optimisation with an "s"". He says the major search engines that power the search are Google and Yahoo and in Britain add Ask Jeeves. He then moves into the language component; selecting keywords, colors used on the pages, letters differ, etc. He then goes into some search usage based on France data. An other search engine that you do not see in the US is Voila, which powers 6% of the French market. Poland is growing, and Google is taking over the market that was once held by Onet.ol (not at 22%).

Steven Taylor the European Overture representative here. He echo's everyone else's claims about the European market growing. (1) Scale; Overture is the largest internet advertising business in the world. This enables Overture to innovate and role out new products quickly. Overture has a large reach, he said "like 80%" to this market. They are also able to see the differences of search usage between the different sites, "diversity of search traffic" (yahoo vs. AV vs. MSN, etc.) (2) Management Structure; they have people here in 12 European markets to work with the local community. (3) Putting them all together (i.e. #1 and #2).

Fabio Selmoni from Google said he will cut his short, since most of what he was suppose to say, was said by the people before him. He started off saying that Google is first most a search engine, a technology company. Google is only successful if their end users are happy. Google has over 55 million unique users. They have 12 physical offices in Europe and they are in the process of making a Scandinavian office shortly. He discusses the Google network, T-Online, Ask Jeeves in the UK and an other 100+. He then gives a few simple rules; (1) make sure the campaign is relevant, (2) take advantage of the targeting opportunities (local, regional, etc,) and (3) keep in mind, no one gets it right the first time.

Q & A:
Q: When will Overture & Google allow for geo-targeting in the European market?
A: Early 2005 for Overture, Google says the same but they have been beta testing it.

Q: The next question went into the trademark issue with bidding on trademark names. A person from Hilton asked how do we control the usage of these words?
A: Google said is has been a challenge, they ask trademark owners to let them know. Google needs the direct involvement from the trademark owners. Overture said that they operate a lot like Google with this in the European market.
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Old 10-30-2004   #2
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thanks for taking the itme to post this.
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Old 10-30-2004   #3
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Thanks for keep us informed Barry. Guess I will definitely have to be at the London SES, since we are pushing heavily into the European market.
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Old 11-02-2004   #4
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More on European search landscape

Quote:
Originally Posted by rustybrick
Massimo Burgio from ad maiora was up next. He spoke at the San Jose conference in 2004. He discusses the pros and cons of Europe being a growing market. The cons included unethical practices and bad business practices. But there is a lot of push towards paid search, not really on the organic side. He said that Google and Overture (and others) are staffing the paid search departments with local people who speak the local language. Big brands in the European market are "fully aware of the potential of our industry", not so in the US market. The local competitive market varies, some countries you find friendly collaborative business environments and in some countries you find fierce competition. He briefly then touched on the different cultures in Europe and how it affects how SEO firms operate.
Barry, thank you for covering the SES Stockholm, you did a great job!!!

I would like to add a note to your report on the presentation I did in Stockholm - as I announced at the beginning of the panel, I managed to get all the information about the EU search landscape by issuing a survey/questionnaire to more than 20 SEO/SEM agencies across Europe.

I asked to the fellow search marketers very specific questions about the state of our industry in their respective countries (countries involved in the survey were France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands), as well as about the relationship with engines, ad networks and media, the state of internal competition vs. collaboration among agencies, and their feedback about the level of awareness on search among the local big brands and advertisers.

The results I got are amazing - a ground-breaking vision of the state of our industry, and it comes straight from the real guys who eat, breath and dream search everyday locally across Europe, so the results are not just another aggregate research.

I couldn't get all those info without asking for "a little help from my friends" (that was the subject in the emails I sent out requesting data/info support), and I strongly feel in debt with each colleague who supported it - I think I'll go broke with all the drinks I promised to buy across Europe!!!

Back to the Stockholm speech, the problem was that I got most of the feedback just few hours before the actual conference, so I didn't had the time to put all the info together - in fact, I wouldn't had the time to present the results of the research in any case, as I received a massive amount of information, and I only had 10 minutes to share it with the audience!

I am now putting all these information together in a structured way, with the aim to diffuse them soon through several channels (searchenginewatch, other Jupiter channels, Pandia, admaiora.com, and the resource area on the Sempo website), and share such insight from local European search marketers with the entire worldwide industry - I'm sure most of us search marketers will find such Eurolandscape very interesting!

Stay tuned for the full survey results!
Massimo
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Old 11-02-2004   #5
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Can't wait Massimo, you did an excellent job!
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Old 11-02-2004   #6
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You are the man Barry... if you get some free time in NYC let me know would love to buy you a drink and exchange thoughts.
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Old 11-02-2004   #7
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Search status in Norway

Quick thanks to rustybrick and massimo for the updates.
Just a clarification: "A popular local search is named enrio" should read "Eniro" (www.eniro.se)

Massimo i would be willing to answer your survey questions for norway if you are interested.

Here's the lowdown on search in Norway:

1. Kvasir (kvasir.no) is pretty much Norway's largest search engine (owned by Eniro AB, eniro.com). They claim to serve over 2 million unique users who do over 30 million searches a month (http://kundwebb.eniro.com/templates/...ge.asp?id=5951). Kvasir serves tweaked Google results. Other big search portals are Start (start.no, delivers Google results), Startsiden (startsiden.no, delivers Google results) and MSN (msn.no, at the bottom of their search results there's a link to "Norway's Biggest Search Engine" where you can search on Kvasir (which, remember, delivers Google results) for the term that MSN gave unsatisfying results for).

2. I have yet to get exact usage for Google search's main site or the .no version (which is brand new), BUT i work directly onsite with many of Norway's Fortune 500 companies and have access to most of their stats programs. Google has a stunning/dominating presence among their referers and delivers at least 75% of search engine traffic to these companies. Overture visited us a while back and was saying how they reach 80% of the market (i read here too in the first comment) but i seriously cannot see that here in Norway. I use Google maybe a hundred times a day.

3. SEO here in Norway is pretty friendly and there is more than enough companies for everyone. There are roughly 350.000 companies in Norway. The last time i counted there were about 10-15 big SEO companies and lots of little wannabies. Most of us in the industry actually have good contact with each other and meet often at Norges Internett Forum (the Norwegian Internet Forum) to discuss SEO development in Norway. Search for "søkemotoroptimalisering" on Google.no and you'll get a good idea of who the competition is. There are about 6000 competing pages. Sneak tactics are still being used by less serious actors but most of us pride ourselves on doing clean SEO and on exposing the dirty ones. I am seeing less and less of bad SEO.

4. A report from INMA (june 2004, http://www.inma.no/internettmarkedet_juni2004.pdf) states that there are 1.7 million Norwegian Internet users daily. Over 3 million people over 13 years old (82% of men, 74% of women) have Internet access. Total population here is about 4.5 million.

5. There is a moderate push for paid placement here. My experience is that Adwords is the largest paid placement program and people seem to finally be catching on because it is effective. Google is going to set up an office here in Oslo primarily to push Adwords.

Last edited by nickleus : 11-02-2004 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 11-02-2004   #8
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nickleus, Very interesting, and sorry for the typo.

AussieWebmaster, if your in Chicago, we can do it sooner. Just make sure to beat me up and make sure I cooperate with you.
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Old 11-02-2004   #9
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I will be in Chicago for SES and live in NYC... coming for AdTech?
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Old 11-03-2004   #10
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A pity we cant get better numbers on Norway
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Old 11-03-2004   #11
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Search marketing in Norway

Hi Nikleus - thank you very much for your input, your info are very valuable for me as well as for anybody else interested in European search marketing.

I welcome your feedback, as Norway was not covered in my original survey (even if I covered Sweden and Denmark in Scandinavia). During the recent SES Stockholm I got in touch with Aktivt (I guess you know them) who will be giving me feedback pretty soonabout the state of the art of search in Norway.

I need your support too, as I need more input as possible in order to have a complete scenario. Please get in touch with me via email (mburgio@admaiora.com) so I can send you the original survey questionnaire - I hope you will find other 15 minutes to send me some more feedback.

I forward the same invitation to all the European search marketers who want to support this survey - please get in touch soon, as there is a lot of expectation about the survey results and I would like to made it available to the whole industry in the shortest time as possible.

By the way, I will be in NY (AD:Tech) only on monday Nov 8, stopping over while flying from Rome (where Ad Maiora headquarters are) to San Francisco (our US branch) - and I will be in Chicago for SES, too.

I would love to get personally in touch with more search marketers, so if you are available for a chat and a coffee (or a glass of wine) please let me know.

Massimo
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Old 11-03-2004   #12
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kservik - the invitation to the survey is open to you too, of course.
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Old 11-03-2004   #13
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thanks massimo

If you are intrested, Aktivt Søk´s website is: www.aktivt.no

They are Norways leading SEO and are the only player that got the accurate Kvasir search data.
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Old 11-03-2004   #14
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Aktivt Norway

Thanks Kservik,
I have met - and spent some quality time with - both Kjell Olsen and Hild Eikrann from Aktivt. Great people doing quality SEO, you are right.
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Old 11-03-2004   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
I will be in Chicago for SES and live in NYC... coming for AdTech?
I doubt I will go to AdTech, I know its right around the corner from me but I am going to WMW conference in Vegas Nov 16th for a few days. Then a month later Chicago. And I just got back from Sweden. Too many conferences.
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Old 11-04-2004   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustybrick
I doubt I will go to AdTech, I know its right around the corner from me but I am going to WMW conference in Vegas Nov 16th for a few days. Then a month later Chicago. And I just got back from Sweden. Too many conferences.
Forget about going to the sessions... why not sign up for a free exhibitors pass and let me know when you can come... a couple of decent parties with a few free ****tails (I had to come back and comment on this editing!!! guess I should say drinks) ... that when the real stuff is learned...
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Old 11-04-2004   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kservik
thanks massimo

A pity we cant get better numbers on Norway

...the only player that got the accurate Kvasir search data.
Yo kservik, not sure i understand your comments here, care to explain? What numbers were you thinking of and what does "accurate Kvasir search data" mean, what are you referring to? (i'll refrain from commenting on the leading SEO thing other than i get bugged by such general statements [ref. Adwords guidelines ] w/o referring to any source. no hard feelings bro'..
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Old 11-04-2004   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
Forget about going to the sessions... why not sign up for a free exhibitors pass and let me know when you can come... a couple of decent parties with a few free ****tails (I had to come back and comment on this editing!!! guess I should say drinks) ... that when the real stuff is learned...
Ok done. I'll try to come. Thank you!
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Old 11-04-2004   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickleus
Yo kservik, not sure i understand your comments here, care to explain? What numbers were you thinking of and what does "accurate Kvasir search data" mean, what are you referring to? (i'll refrain from commenting on the leading SEO thing other than i get bugged by such general statements [ref. Adwords guidelines ] w/o referring to any source. no hard feelings bro'..
Kvasir got 2 million unique users each month, but how many actually uses the site for searching? Many probably use it as a startpage. How many searches are in Norwegian?

What are the traffic info for MSN Norway and other SEs for spesific Norwegian traffic?

I think Aktivt Søk AS got the highest turnover and most employees, but if that aint true yet, then I congratulate anyone growing faster with that achivement.

Besides, I got great respect for your company, nickleus.
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Old 05-14-2006   #20
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Hi! I realize this is an old thread, but does anybody know if Massino ever made his Survey available?

I'm writing a Bachelor Project on the European SEO business, and would love to get some SEO-specific data on some of the countries...
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