International SEO

Jun 4, 2008 • 2:43 pm | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Marketing Expo 2008 Seattle
 

Moderator: Jeffrey K. Rohrs, Vice President, Marketing, ExactTarget Q&A Moderator: Barry Smyth, Director, Search Strategies

Internation SEO at SMX

Ian McAnerin, CEO, McAnerin International Inc is first up. Geolocation is the identification of a web page as belonging to or being relevant for a particular country. ccTLD, IP address and link analysis are ways search engines identify your site or page belonging to a particular country. ccTLD is the first place they will typically look. If you have www.domain.com, domain.com and domain.ca all pointing to the same page, it will associate the site as being a Canadian site. If you don't have a ccTLD, the spider will look at the location of your host IP, if the server is in Canada, then your page might be associated to Canada.

When would you want to not use a 301 redirect, and show a 202 response? If you want to show the .com URL but also want to show up in a local engine, then there is a tactic you can use. Hard to write, email Ian if you want more info. ;-)

Language and Culture: - Local terms (football) - Different types of spelling - Popular culture references - Translation issues - Cultural Issue

Semantic Expression Equivalency Document: Original English -> English SEED -> Chinese SEED -> Chinese Document EN --------> EN -------> EN-ZH --------> ZH

In summary, you take your original english page and you bullet point your points of the marketing speak. You express how you want it expressed, the emotion in that document. It is now a soulless document that says what you want it to say. Then you have that document translated into the other language. Then you give it to a real copyrighter in that language and have them write it well.

Linking Issues: - Too many links - big problem with asian sites - Nofollow, First anchor text counts (not sure if this is still true) - Strategic internal linking is excellent way to deal with multiple languages - Language switching: -- No surprises -- Clear indication of target, same page, different language, not the home page of the site, but the page.

Internation SEO at SMXAndy Atkins-Kruger, Managing Director, WebCertain is next up. He is a linguistic marketer.

(10) Use UTF-8 character encoding. Google calls it unicode. (9) Don't translate the metatags and page titles. Be careful with that translation. (8) Adopt a global PR strategy. He lists a number of PR companies. (7) Manage 301s. There are hundreds of links going to page not found on international sites. (6) Keyword URLs (5) Source local links from local sites and sources. (4) Use smart geo-selector. IBM has a geo-selector on their web site. A way for people to find the localized version that suits them. Flags at the top. Page to Page links. (3) Expert keyword research (2) ccTLDs or Local Hosting (1) Language and content presentation

Kristjan Mar Hauksson, Director of Internet Marketing, Nordic eMarketing is now up.

- ccTLD and it has a huge impact (buy them at Eurperegistry.com) - IP address makes a difference also, he has seen the results - Language and Culture is often overlooked. He gives examples of funny translation issues. - Inbound links, they are really important.

Case Study: - Strategy, localized languages, ccTLD - 6 to 30% rise in relevant traffic, 4% more sales, etc.

Sorry for not covering his presentation in that much detail. I am very bad with understanding accents.

Cindy Krum, Sr. SEO Analyst, Blue Moon Works, Inc is last up. She is focusing on site architecture.

Different web issues: - Multiple languages, currencies, measurements and seasonalities - Different search engines - Different e-commerce laws - Inconsisrtent marketing aesthetics

Three Approaches: - One Site - Multiple Sites - Blended

Things to Consider: - Design, development and maintenance cost - Server configuration and location - CMS and order fulfillment - Email, direct marketing, affiliates and PPC - Traditional advertising - SEO

One Site: Everyone goes to a .com and then send people to subdomains or subfolders. You can do it by country, by language or by keyword translated.

Pros: easy to set up, links and traffic all point to one domain, more pages in the index, flexible with messaging, grouping by language prevents dup content, country specific hosting option as subdomain Cons: home page is wrong language, home page only ranks in one language, grouping by country risks duplicate content

Tips: - Use webmaster tools as much as you can. Target country feature. - Redirect country specific domains to subdomain or subfolder - Internal and external links - Language meta tag, HTML language and local address

Multiple Sites: ccTLDs

Pros: incrementally low start up costs, can add sites one at a time, rank well in multiple country specific engines, country specific hosting Cons: More sites equals more sites to update, multiple sites is multiple SEO efforts and harder to rank in .com, forced to target countries instead of languages

Tips: - Target country in webmaster tools - Use external links correctly - Link your multiple country sites carefully and logically - Language meta tags, html language and local address

Blended: both subs and ccTLDs. People go to .com and then send people from there to international sites.

Pros: most realistic approach, can start with .com and build country specific sites as needed Cons: most costly to create and maintain and update

Tips: - Specify your country in webmaster tools, but not the .com - Link your multiple country sites carefully and logically - External links should be logical - Let users know you are taking them to another site - Use Java translation and IP sniffing on home page

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Comments:

ldz

06/05/2008 04:01 pm

Ian's presented good translation advice here, but Andy's meta desc and title strategy seems a bit confused and certainly counter-intuitive - any chance some light can be shed here?

Kristjan Mar Hauksson

06/06/2008 01:13 pm

Hi team SEO RoundTable, would be happy to take you through the PPT and clarify what might have been missed out. Such as the importance of getting a second opinion on translations and the local respect gained by doing a good translation job. The translation issues in my experience are more often to do with translators missing out of local words, I mentioned that the Norwegians have 3 or 4 other words (phrases) that laptop when searching. Good summary ;-)

Barry Schwartz

06/06/2008 01:16 pm

Sorry Kristjan. I should have tried harder. Feel free to link to your PPT here...

Andy Atkins-Kruger

06/12/2008 04:21 pm

Hi Idz, to respond to your question - I think that you may think that I mean page titles and metatags should be in English. That's not the case - what I was actually saying was don't use translation as a method to get to page titles and metatags -even if that's your only option for the main content. These in particular need to be crafted by someone who understands seo AND the target language.

scott

10/16/2008 03:19 pm

so is there an exact science to the difference in using country folders vs cctld? www.site.com/uk vs www.site.dell.co.uk ? there is a lot to maintain here withe using multiple domains/apps

Patrick Bausemer

04/05/2012 03:16 pm

Great post. I am most interested in the content piece, specifically about localization and international SEO. Many people we speak with are trying to figure out how international seo and translation come together. They have traditionally been separated and the providers (translators and SEO consultants) have been separate. Should they now be brought together? If so, how would it work? We’ve built an  “international seo maturity model ” that helps people figure out the right approach for them. Does this model make sense to you? What do you think is missing?

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