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August 25, 2008

SES: Search Around the World Part 1: Asia/Pacific & Latin America

By David Temple

Search Around the World Part 1: Asia/Pacific & Latin America

This session is on the first day at SES San Jose 2008. The main theme gathered from this session is localize, localize, localize. It’s not just a matter of translating your current content, you need to have someone in market or at least someone that knows the market well in order to be effective. And no, do not use translation software!

The session panel was;

• 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


T.R. Harrington is the first to speak. (He’s been in China for more than four years and understands the market well.) When he first went there he thought they had fortune cookies but soon discovered that was an American invention.

• China has 254 million bypassing the US early this year.
• BBS is still huge in China with 12M daily searches on Baidu
• Tencent (QQ) has the largest number of casual games and is the #1 blog site and #1 portal.
• Drivers for search growth are the rising internet population, growth in the number of web pages and a large number of SME’s.
• Taiwan and Honk Kong should be approached differently. Even different regions in China should be considered as different markets.
• Baidu has 71% market share compared to Google’s 23%
• Paid ads used to dominate the search but Baidu is doing a better job of balancing paid and organic
• CPC costs are rising dramatically
• Traffic estimation tools aren’t reliable.
• Baidu is adding 14.5 new products a year


Motoko Hunt has been doing search marketing in Japan for a long time. She also emphasized localization.

• There are 89 million users in Japan which represents a 70% penetration rate and 85% of them are on broadband.
• Online ad spending is at $4.6 billion and is expected to reach $7.6 billion by 2011.
• Yahoo used to be the search marketing leader but Google has caught up and they each have about 50% of the market share.
• Mobile marketing and QR codes  are huge.
• Blogs are very popular and some blogs have gone to books and even a TV show.
• Youtube and Nico Nico Duga are very popular in Japan.
• There are 4 different sets of characters so you have to do extensive keyword research.
• Main take aways

o Localize
o Keyword research
o Adapt for what works in Japan
o Consider different ways to approach the market

Latin America

Alicia Morga, addressed not only Latin American but the US Hispanic market as well.

• 44 million US Hispanics and 23 million are online.
• US Hispanics use both English and Spanish with English used by 52%, Bilingual is 27 % and Spanish at 21%.
• In Latin America there are 53 million users but only a 13% penetration rate.
• When US  Best Buy translated their content into Spanish it got indexed immediately but most of the traffic came from Spain & Latin America.
• When the shopping cart was in English it actually converted better as it was perceived as more legitimate.
• Banner ads works well since the users aren’t jaded as in the US.
• Mobile advertising and text messaging work well.


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