This Search Engine Strategies Latino 2007 Keynote has been brought to us by Li Evans. Thanks, Li!
Keynote Conversation – SES Latino 2007, Monday June 18, 2007
* Gonzalo Alonso, General Manager for Spanish-Speaking Latin America, Google * Nacho Hernandez, iHisapnic
Nacho greets and welcomes the audience. He mentions that this is the 2nd SES Latino event and the event room nearly full, people standing in the back. Nacho explains about Gonzalo's history with Google and that he started at Google in 2005, 2007 became manager for all of Google's efforts in Latin America.
Nacho then points out that its not about making more money for your campaigns, but to provide that user that service, product or information you put out there. That's what search is all about - searchers looking and you providing.
NH=Nacho Hernandez GA: Gonzalo Alonso
NH: What do you see is the big difference between US and Latin America? GA: First we see Latin America there is a lot of growth. Why Latin America? Growing faster than the us, most of erope and places in Asia. Not only Spanish speaking but Portuguese. In the last 12 months, Latin America has become a #1 proioty for Google.
NH: Why put Google's Latin American base in Argentina? GA: Meat and wine. (Audience chuckles). Data and numbers (hard bucket) and soft bucket - what we see around the Latin American community particularly in Argentins is a great talent pool, the place is very special, ecommerce is booming. Argentina is a place where everything is happening.
NH: Major markets in Latin American are Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. Which others are high potential? GA: Columbia, is starting to get a nation wide plan for technology. There's critical mass, and advertising dollars. Chile, as well.
NH: Chicken and egg factor. Lower internet penetration. What do you think could happen in Latin America to increase the internet penetration. Is it the 100 dollar computer the solution? GA: In my opinion, 100 computers are cell phones in Latin America. But it is a very difficult ecosystem. It's more about how do you get the money from people - both advertisers, and buyers. Its all customers so we are looking into how to do this. E-commerce players are needed. Replicate what's happening in Brazil to the other countries.
Google just launched "business adwords" for Latin America. Create your own business website with us - and you can start your advertising
Governments need to find ways to close the digital gap. Google wants to help - but they need programs to help with. Participation from the whole ecosystem is needed.
NH: Is Search Marketing is going to grow much bigger when the chicken and egg situation is resolved? GA: Absolutely. We're starting to notice airlines getting into the marketing. if we don't grow the ecosystem, e-commerce, it will be tough.
NH: What major shifts are you looking at from the big spenders in Latin America? GA: There are 2-3 important components. More SEO in the right way will help. 2nd thing is that we are seeing a shift in companies. We are speaking more with the business guys - the ones who really need to sell. Branding side, Google is doing things with you tube, banners and display are starting to kick off. it's a tough journey.
NH: Businesses want to spend more money, but what about the content. Google just launched Universal Search, which is adding different elements of content from the vertical engines. If that's been implemented globally how does that affect Latin America, since there is a lack of content? GA: Envision the web like an ocean, there's deep with no light, and then shallow with a lot of light. This is the way we see the web. The deep waters are really deep, just designed pages, not optimized. Why are there still a lot of content results come in English - it's not about building the web page, but building the right web page. Lots of content not optimized.
The problem on the other side, the platform are built, but content is lacking. Everyone in Search in Latin America market everyone is seeing this.
NH: Any other thoughts? GA: Research - come to the industry if you have any cool ideas. Latin American Governments aren't doing it, so we as an industry need to partner to do this and do it really fast.
NH: Thanks you very much Gonzolas.
Liana “Li” Evans is the Search Marketing Manager for Commerce360 and oversees the search engine optimization, social media and word of mouth marketing efforts for their client’s search marketing efforts. Li also is the owner and editor of Search Marketing Gurus blog.