Join David Booth for an in-depth discussion in this video Beyond Google: Overview of the top global search engines, part of International SEO.
- Like many people around the world, in North America, our choice of search engine is more often that not, Google. Sure, there are other big engines like Bing, or even YouTube that get a fair amount of searches. Of course, there's other, smaller ones like DuckDuckGo, but Google has long held the lion's share of many global markets. If you're operating in many of the countries where Google is the clear market leader, you'll of course want to be thinking about optimizing for Google. But what you might not know is that there is a local Google for almost every country on the planet.
These local flavors of Google are going to show different results, and that makes a lot of sense. Google Canada, for example, will give you a different set of results than the US flavor of Google. Look what happens when we type in "sports teams" in each of these different flavors. See? We're seeing localized results, and these are both English-speaking countries. What if we head over to Google Mexico and type in a very literal Spanish translation. Wow, now that's a very different set of results. What if we change this for a more accurate translation? Yet another very different set of results.
Languages and locations can be extremely important to your international SEO strategy for Google. But, we also have to consider that some of the most well-known search engines in the world are actually not that well-known at all in North America. If you're targeting specific countries, you'll need to understand which search engines hold the most market share. In some cases, getting discovered and indexed by these engines will require a bit of additional work and a longer-term effort. In this video, we're going to go over, perhaps, the top three exceptions to Google's global dominance.
Baidu in China, Naver in South Korea, and Yandex in Russia. First, let's take a look at some of the top international search engines. A major market these days is undeniably China. And there, the top search engine is called Baidu. Of course, there are some exceptions, such as Hong Kong's significant usage of Google. But, if you want to be seen and discovered by a Chinese audience, you'll want to look at what it takes to be successful and visible in Baidu. Generally, you'll find that following best practices for SEO will serve you well here.
But, there are a few differences. Remember, every search engine's algorithms, processes, and behaviors, will have some slight differences, so there might be some things you'd want to consider. For example, it may be worth your while to host your Chinese-facing web properties locally in China. Not only can this speed up things for your Chinese users, this can also provide more direct and indirect signals to Baidu's crawlers, that can help your visibility on that search engine. Remember that there are always business concerns to take into account. For example, if you go this route, you'll be required to register for a government-issued ICP number.
It's also important to note that SEO success can take a long time on Baidu. Don't be surprised if it takes you six months or more to start seeing results from your efforts. Fortunately, Baidu provides site owners with a number of services and features to help with your SEO and marketing efforts, including the latest version of the official guide to Baidu. Though Baidu doesn't provide the guide in other languages, you can use your browser translations to convert it to some degree, or find translated versions out there on the web. This leads us to an inevitable truth that we'll find in international SEO.
If you're not proficient in local languages and cultures, it can be difficult to navigate and make full use of the tools and resources available to you. This means you'll likely need to consider enlisting local help that not only speaks the language, but also understands the cultural considerations of local users. You may really want to explore those tools and resources further. For example, Baidu offers tools that help you research Chinese search trends, and has its own pay-per-click platform that can be used to help with keyword research. Like Google and Bing, Baidu also offers a basic set of webmaster tools.
You can submit your site, get some help optimizing your site with a page-optimization suggestion tool, check on your site's health, and even run a security check that scans for malware on your pages. In South Korea, Naver has long been the local market leader. More than a search engine, it's also a social portal, and it's the place to be and be found. If you're targeting Seoul, or other South Korean markets, and you want to gain exposure there, you'll need to sign up for a Naver account. Once you're registered, you'll not only want to examine all the services and features that will help you get discovered, but you'll also need to be realistic about how much time, energy, and resources you can really devote to this, or any other international market.
The bottom line is that this is going to be an investment that's going to entail quite a bit of work. Just as with Baidu in China, you'll absolutely need someone who can speak the language and truly understands the culture. Naver's main social network is Cafe, and it's here that you'll want to dig in and gauge, share content with other users, and let those other users share content with you. Again, generally, your traditional best practices for SEO will also serve you well here. And, if you have trouble, Naver also has a webmaster tool that you can use for site submissions, and to monitor your site's health and indexing status.
Next, with over 60% of the search market share in Russia, and a strong presence in locations like Turkey and Belarus, Yendex is a search market leader that we need to devote some time to understanding. While traditional SEO tactics will be a sound approach to get you started down the right path, Yendex also has some differences from Google. For instance, Yandex tends not to index pages as frequently as other search engines. Static pages, for example, may be updated only once or twice a month. More dynamic, or fresh content, like news sites or blogs, are re-crawled on a daily basis.
Yandex is also very much focused on local, regional marketing, so if you've got markets in Russia that should be localized, you'll want to use Yandex's webmaster tools to set up a slew of regional preferences. Yandex also offers a standard set of tools and resources for search engine optimization and web marketers. This includes a robust keyword research tool, as well. Searching for the term "analytics", for example, you can look at the number of displays per month, and if you select by region, you'll be able to see how the term performs regionally.
Here, we can see that the keyword "analytics", broken down by cities, is a much more popular term in Moscow than it is in, say, Sochi. Yandex also offers standard webmaster resources, and along with the prerequisite webmaster tool, you'll also discover a helpful resource center. In the resource center, you'll discover information on how Yandex indexes sites, information on site security, and recommendations for common SEO techniques, such as how to handle graphics and meta-descriptions in Yandex. Wherever you operate, or whatever country you're targeting, it will be important to know which search engines are leading the pack in each local market.
For a North American search marketer, in addition to your Google and Bing staples, you'll want to consider the top search engines in all of the areas you're targeting. Whether that's a localized flavor of Google, Baidu, Naver, Yandex, or others, you'll do well to take advantage of these highly localized tools, and the resources they provide.
David reviews global and regional aspects of how to determine target markets and optimize your website for different countries and languages. He then explains the technical elements of international SEO, including how search engines handle multilingual and multiregional content, and which methods to use to let search engines know just whom you're targeting. Viewers then explore international content strategy and crucial on-page elements and optimization strategies.
Then learn how to perform keyword research—taking into account cultural considerations and local competition. The course moves on to explore such off-site factors as social sharing and link building, and shows how to measure results via a number of SEO-specific tools, as well as Google Analytics.
- Explain why backlinks are so important in both domestic and international SEO.
- Name three countries that have search engines that are more popular locally than Google.
- Determine the purpose of a content delivery network.
- Identify how UTF-8 encoding helps with searches in different languages.
- Recognize situations in which meta tags are useful.
- Apply helpful strategies to increase traffic to your websites.