Language & Domain Name Issues

May 5, 2005 - 1:52 pm 0 by
Filed Under SES Toronto 2005

Moderated by well known forum moderator, BakedJake (Jake Baillie from True Local). First up is Cole Harrison from Ask Jeeves. He goes over the standard slides on Ask Jeeves stats. Ask Jeeves focuses on the US and UK search markets, but not they are devoting more resources towards other country specifics. He showed the Spain oriented Web site, since they do not have a Canadian version. He showed you can search in that country, language or all of the Web. So how do they do this? They classify each individual page into a language and a country, one page fits in one box. Searching by Language you need your page to be classified in the right language; this is based on the text on the page, they identified by frequencies of words and groups of letters. Search engines have trouble with this when, you have very little content, meta tags contain text in different languages from body, all text is in JS or Flash, text is evenly divided in two languages, if you have different versions of a page based on IP address (that can be an issue for Ask Jeeves, because you have one URL per box (see above)). Country search is limited to pages in a specific country. Identified by top level domain name, IP address of local ISP, text of page, and link patterns of pages. Recommendations is to use a local domain name such as and include address on pages. He strongly recommends having a Web site (domain name) for each country/language.

Bill Hartzer from INTEC, a computer software company for the teleco industry, they are pretty big. Intec's Web site goals are (1) brand company products or services, (2) convert web site visitors into possible sales leads, (3) establish a local web presence in each country that the company serves (27 currently), (4) show up number one in every search engine and every language. Language issues: (1) Main web site is in English and resides at (2) they have translated/localized versions reside on country specific TLDs, (3) intex treats each web site as a separate entity, we do not combine language son web sites and link between the sites in a JavaScript menu (no link spam). Optimization strategy; create separate sites, translate site, host site in local region if possible, address info and so on. "Pre Optimization", translation issues, keyword research tools, gather keywords for each product, research competitors, finalize lists, give list to translator, local office personnel for approval. He adds code to specify the language code in the html of the page. Never use more then one language on a Web page. Off page optimization; regional directories, press releases translated, links from local web portals, links from industry sites. Domain names: unused country specific domain names use 301 to main site, internationalized domain names are domains that include non ascii characters.

Bill Hunt from Global Strategies. He discusses specific examples working with IBM, 83 localized languages in 31 countries. Two main issues, domain name issues, and language issues. Domain issues are; not included or ranking in language specific engines, not using local country top level domains, and duplicate content. Language issues include; poor quality translations, incorrect keyword and improper language tags. Barrier # 1, getting country sites indexed; popups cant be indexed, pull down country maps cant be crawled, restrictive JavaScripts language detects, and restrictive robot.txt and meta robots. Barrier #2, language and language detection. Country detection; top level domain and or ip of server/host, detected language is required to be in the results. Language detection; most engines detect top 33 languages, automatically and 90% of European searches select restrict to "language". Domain pointers; multiple top level domain names pointing to a single .com address, use 301 redirects from TLDs to .com/country. Top Level Domains; wherever possible use the TLS and a local IP. And make sure to use language. Barrier #3 Poor Quality Translations; cheap translation us just translation. Many translators are not optimizers. Machine translation and translation memory, is very poor. Develop an "Opportunity Matrix", "notebook" is not search on in Italy, they search for "computer" more often. Integrating SEO into Localization process; Glossary development, content development, proper tag usage.


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