Google, Yahoo Reps Speak At SES Latino 2007

    June 19, 2007

At SES Latino 2007 there was, as you might expect, a focus on the search market as it pertains to Central and South America; representatives from both Google and Yahoo see a huge potential for growth in the region.

We can begin with the keynote, which was given by Gonzalo Alonso, Google’s General Manager for Spanish-Speaking Latin America.  Search Engine Roundtable has provided a transcript, and, according to Alonso, Latin America is “[g]rowing faster than the US, most of Europe and places in Asia.”

Also, in the event you’ve noticed Google building in Kenya, Israel, and China – just about everywhere other than the countries to America’s south – Alonso continued, “In the last 12 months, Latin America has become a number one priority for Google.”

And thus began the conference.  Later on, speakers at one session outlined the importance of mobile search in the Spanish-speaking market.  “61% of US Hispanics own cell phones,” announced Sarah Carberry, Google’s Sales and Marketing Multicultural Development Manager.  “Mobile searching, and therefore advertising, is on the rise.”

Rafael Jimenez, the General Manger of Yahoo Hispanic America’s Advertiser and Publisher Group (and also the holder of another really long title), agreed, listing several contributing factors.  “Mobile data plans are getting cheaper,” he pointed out, “[a]wareness is increasing,” there is an “[i]ncrease in mobile content/applications,” and “[c]ellular networks are getting faster.”

Jimenez also emphasized the importance of social search in Latin America.  “The good thing about social search is that you’re leveraging the knowledge of the collective, rather than relying solely on the machines,” he stated.  “A lot of people are looking at alternative ways to find the answers they’re looking for on the web.”

And a lot of people, as the very existence of SES Latino 2007 proves, live within the Latin American market.  Businesses who keep that in mind will probably do quite well.