SEO & Spanish / Portuguese Language Issues

Jul 11, 2006 • 4:07 pm | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine Strategies 2006 Latino
 

The final session of the SES Latino conference, Nacho welcomes...

Ian McAnerin to focus on the technical stuff. The accent "misspelling" problem, they don't enter in the special characters into the search box. To a computer, this is a completely different word. However, the practice is so common that marketers need to be able to capture the people looking for these misspellings. Search engines also want to provide results that help users. Issue is that treating and é as an e (nice i figured out how to make an é), can potentially result in completely different result set. Montreal versus Montréal has huge difference in search volume, also Mexico and México. The content issue is that many web sites cannot misspell words due to legal or quality issues. Marketers are not usually willing to just walk away from the keywords. A search engine will usually attempt to order the results based on the most accurate response to a query first. Even if it shows alternative spelling content, they will generally put the exact match above the best guess. This means you cant really on the search engine to solve the problem for you. He showed the ranking difference between Mexico and México on Google.com. He created a fake word named "altwrittén," www.mcanerin.com/EN/articles/keyword-misspelling-test.asp. Keyhword chosen b/c is was nonsense and contained a special character that exists... Turns out MSN and Yahoo both treat the é as an e (you show up but order may change). Google does not, you do not show up. Worked with anchor text, title, hidden css, noscript, alt tags (link and not linked) and URL. Did not work with keyword meta tag, dc metatag, comments and bookmarks. Suggested solutions; (1) It looks unprofessional to have multiple spellings on the same page. You can use links within the alt text, URLs, incoming anchor text and noscript area can place those misspellings. (2) Avoid moving into the hidden text cloaking areas. (3) Anchor text is not only content for the target page, but also content on the source page. International Coding, use the doctype "EN" for English, ES for Spanish, the "-us" is USA Spanish, es-mx, es-us, es-es, es-are, etc. He said currently search engines do not use the localized country part of the language tag, but they may in the future.

Christian Van Der Henst is up again. There is a great opportunity to develop for the Spanish market. He shows some of the top ten languages on the Internet; Spanish users are a big part of the market (6.4%). The content evolution by language is putting Spanish behind other languages, Spanish is not growing. 45% of the web is written in English, Spanish is 4.6% of the Web, and its losing ground (he said "field" on the Internet). Spanish grammar has special characters; ñ, å, é, î, ó, ü, ú (sweet! just took me two days to try). He used Google trends to figure out if people are using the special characters and the search volume is low, like Ian showed. He showed papå, versus papa (without the å it means pope). "Grammatics?" When people search, they do not care about Spanish grammar. The search results differ between special characters and without them. You have to promote your web sites without using the right grammar. Where should you avoid using the accent mark? Title, META tags, and title= and alt=. You avoid them in the header tags, only if it is in upper case, because that is somewhat acceptable in the language. He then told a long story, but we really did not have time for it in this session. Nacho, I believe, is getting antsy, but I can be wrong.

Sylvio Lindenberg from MPG Brazil to talk from a Brazilian perspective. Brazil is the only Portuguese speaking nation in the Americas. The language is somewhat different from Portugal. Brazilian Portuguese is different from Ameridian. Portuguese and Spanish are very different. There are some similarities; it can be tricky (kinda got lost there). Regional Expressions in Brazil, funny examples. There are also translation issues, and doing it right is hard. Misspellings is an issue, happens often, example "johnson and johnson" versus "jonhson and jonhson." There are few tools and limited research in Brazil. Also understand user characteristics and habits, they are just a bit behind of America, so what happened in the US 5 years ago, will happen in Latin America. Do not have a single web site to target all of Latin America. If you must, use Neutral Spanish. If you want to rank well, then use local spanish approach. His methodology; the technology analysis is done in-house, and the context and content study is done with the local office.

Andy Hagans from Text Link Ads is now up to talk about advanced link building. Now localized versions need link building efforts. Link buying is buying links on various Web sites. The more links you have the higher you rank. Benefits of buying links, direct traffic + link popularity + branding + spidering, in the splash background of the Search Engine Watch Web site. Link popularity indicators include Google PageRank, or a link search on Yahoo! or MSN Search, but the best indicator is a page's ranking in a search engine, if it ranks well, then it is properly trusted. He shows bad rented links, in the footer of the web site, all jumbled together, search engines (except MSN) have learned to filter these links out). The best part of the page to get a link from is in the primary content (looks like the AdSense heat map). If you buy links, check the cache page in Google to see if the link is within Google, that means the link is counted. Link Baiting: creating content (articles, tools, programs, etc.) that passively attains links due to its intrinsic value. Pros: it is white hat, and it is cheap. Cons: takes time and creativity. Common Types of link bait; useful tools, results lists, controversial articles, contests, exclusive news, evergreen content and anything useful, remarkable or entertaining. He shows some real world examples...

Disclaimer: I type as fast as I can, there are grammar errors, typos and more issues with this. I do my best to be as accurate as possible. But due to the nature of "real time" coverage, there will be issues.

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Comments:

Jim Hobson

07/13/2006 12:59 am

Thank you! While the Hispanic demographic offers a huge opportunity for Internet marketing firms there is a shortage of valuable, practical analysis on SEO for this market segment. I would like to encourage you to make more posts on this topic. Great job!

Simon

03/18/2008 09:33 pm

Its already fixed by G

Alejandro

09/15/2008 11:13 pm

I'm sorry but the special characters you say we use in spanish are not those. In spanish all the accents are written the same, meaning: á, é, í, ó and ú. We do have ñ and Ñ and the ü but is not very common. There si not such thing as å or î. By the way, unfortunately a great majority of spanish people, mostly mexicans in my opinion, have many (a lot) of grammar errors when writing. For example, the words "hay", "ahi" and "ay" are very different ones but sounds exactly alike. The same for "coser" and "cocer" and so on.

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