Ranking Well In Non-US Searches

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Yes, we supposedly work on the World Wide Web, but localization and micromarketing (a term I learned from a Stuart Elliot column describing a marketing pitch by Sharper Image to one area of Soho in New York) increasingly segment and complicate results, especially across foreign search portals. So here are some suggestions – from the Search Engine Watch forums – for reaching potential clients who live in countries other than yours.

Discuss ranking strategies for Non-US search engines.

Around the World in Eighty Search Results...
Around the World in Eighty Search Results…

I’d like to start with some advice from Ian McAnerin, who spoke with representatives of the major search engines at the recent Toronto SES conference.

He heard that “all the major SE’s look at the TLD first for geolocation, then at the secondary characteristics of IP and link analysis.”

In addition, “Google is the only major one that looks at IP address. Yahoo, MSN and Teoma all use link analysis instead.”

If you have a .com/net/org domain that’s when Google looks at IP and server location, while Teoma and Yahoo look at your “hub/authority” membership.

He spoke at the conference and asked the reps directly as he wanted to be sure he had the straight facts.

Danny Sullivan gave some suggestions too. If you want your site to appear in Australian searches then you should host in Australia. If you’re hosting in the US and have a .au site then you should still appear Australian. If you’re hosting in the US, have a .com domain and want to be seen as an Australian site then in all likelihood your sole recourse is links from .au or Australian hosted sites.

Ian McAnerin, as mentioned above, noted that Yahoo, MSN, and Teoma pay attention to the hub and authority sites linking to yours (and, to a degree, that your site links to).

One poster, who goes by “doppelganger,” made an interesting point based on his experience in running global search campaigns – many countries are not “in the age of crawlers.” Especially, he said, in South America and Asia. You’ll have to find country-specific directories.

“Character encoding” too can be an issue the poster said, but made no specific mention of why. I’ll investigate this.

Chris D stated that, “a DMOZ regional listing is also worth gold if you don’t have a country extension domain.”

I wrote some time ago of ranking well in German search engines.

Thanks to Barry of SEORoundTable for the tip.

Garrett French is the editor of iEntry’s eBusiness channel. You can talk to him directly at WebProWorld, the eBusiness Community Forum.

Ranking Well In Non-US Searches
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