SES San Jose 2008 – Search Around the World

(Guest Post)

My first session at Search Engine Strategies San Jose 08: Search Around the World Part 1: Asia/Pacific & Latin America . Below are my notes from the session. Keep in mind, these are only my notes, these are not exact quotes from any of the speakers, it’s only my interpretation of what was said.

Moderator: Anne Kennedy, Managing Partner & Founder, Beyond Ink


  • T.R. Harrington, Director of Strategic Direction & Product Development, Darwin Marketing
  • Motoko Hunt, Founder, Japanese Search Marketing Strategist, AJPR LLC
  • Alicia Morga, CEO, Consorte Media


The session started with T. R Harrington. He discussed the China search market. Below are a few of the highlighted bullet points from Harrington’s presentation

China Search Market:

  • 254 million users in China July 08, the largest number of users in the world
  • Fewer choices in other mediums, like TV. Because of this users are more engaged in the online conversation.
  • There is a very little presence of analytics companies in China. Partly because companies are still hesitant to pay for this service, plus many are still not sure what to measure.
  • Cost per Click is still the major measurement, understanding conversion and measurement has not reached the China market yet.
  • Taiwan and Honk Kong are totally different markets then “mainland” China. All Chinese speaking areas can not be grouped together. Different tactics and strategies are needed.
  • Domains with a .CN extension are considered more reputable and give more weight.
  • Claims the largest and most active BBS Community
  • Baidu is not like Google
  • Has 71% Market Share (Google has 23%)
  • Pushing the ads to right side, like Google. Historically, they have been at top, this pushing organic listings down
  • Introduces 14.5 products a year
  • Wants to be the Wikipedia and Ebay of China, as well as search
  • Provides no CTR% for Paid Search advertisers
  • Faster CPC price increases (as much as 70% from Jan to May)
  • Traffic estimations tools in China are unreliable in China

Motoko Hunt followed with a presentation on the Japanese market.

  • Omniture Aalytics is present in Japan. Google Analytics is also present. However, larger companies seem to outsource analytics.
  • Google and Yahoo splits the market share about 50% a piece
  • Mobile marketing is hot
  • Many online ads include search boxes, with keyword suggestions. This persuades the users to use the suggestive keywords, which have a lower CPC. Very effective
  • Keyword Research and translation is a unique challenge. Multiple character sets and translations are needed to capture all traffic.
  • Shopping/Ecommerce is huge
  • Payment options – Credit Cards, Mobile accounts, wire transfer
  • Japanese prefer Points over coupons
SEM Tips for the Japanese Market:
  1. Localize – don’t just translate
  2. Extensive keyword research
  3. Adapt to what works in Japan

South America

Alicia Morga, CEO of Consorte Media talked about the Latin America market

  • US/Hispanic Market – 60% of internet access
  • Spend 9% more then non-Hispanics
  • Best Buy was instantly indexed after creating a translated site. Traffic increased but site wasn’t ready for consumers.
  • English credit card processing is considered more “legitimate” in shopping sites. Although, that seems to be changing now.
  • Banner campaigns do well, consumers are not as jaded as US Consumers.
  • Mobile advertising does well

: The session had a consistent message: Translation software doesn’t work. Localize not translate. If businesses are really serious about having an international presence they need to have content translated by a human editors. It’s difficult to find translators that understand online marketing, especially SEM. Therefore, extensive testing is necessary to make sure the right words are target for optimization.

** John Ellis is the Senior Online Marketing Manager for ResortQuest Vacation Rentals

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