Guest Post – Our host is
Amanda DiSilvestro, in this post Amanda looks beyond Google to see how people in other country’s may be searching for your blog.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
Being that Google controls nearly 60 percent of the search market, many blog owners put their focus on optimization entirely on this search engine—and rightfully so. People from all over the world use Google and translate Google results into their own language, so finding your way to the top is great for businesses. However, it is important to put your focus on your audience, and not the entire search market. In other words, although 60 percent of searches may be completed on Google, 90 percent of your search might be performed somewhere else. This then begs the question: What’s the deal with foreign search engines?
Some blogs expect to have an international audience, but other blogs find this to be a surprise. Whatever the case may be, it is important to make sure that your website is truly optimized for not only foreign search engines, but foreign readers. In many cases you will find that optimization for these search engines is very similar to optimizing for Google, but it can be a bit more difficult for someone who is unfamiliar with a language or culture.
Different Foreign Search Engines
There are hundreds of different search engines that exist in our world today, and it is important to understand that there are really two different ways to look at foreign search engines: Google and other search engines that are used in foreign countries and then engines that are not based in the U.S. In general, many of the foreign search engines outside of the U.S. manually rank sites, so it’s usually worth the time of an American to focus on optimization for sites that were originally U.S. based.
Below are a few of the most popular search engines in different parts of the world:
- Japanese – Yahoo Japan is the most popular search engine in Japan, but some also use the Japanese based search engine, DragonField.
- German – Germans sometimes use the engine Aladin or Fireball, but many still use American search engines such as AltaVista Germany.
- China – This country largely uses Baidu, but a site should have a Chinese domain name and hosted in the country, so it’s tough to optimize for this engine.
- Russia – Yandex is commonly used in Russia, and this search engine has many of the same ranking rules that Google employs.
- French – Voila is one of the biggest search engines for the French, although Yahoo France is a close second.
Once you have made the decision that you want to optimize for a specific search engine, it’s time to consider some of the different ranking factors specific to that search engine. This will help you determine whether or not you need to worry about backlinks, put more of a focus on Meta tags, or submit your site to certain directories.
Top 5 Ways to Optimize Your Site for Foreign Search Engines
Although the way in which you optimize your site for a foreign search engine will differ depending on the search engine you’re targeting, there are a few things that remain consistent across the board. For those who aren’t entirely sure where to begin, there are a few standard things you can do:
- Translation – This is obviously one of the biggest things that you can do to help give you some pull in another language. You can set up a translation service on your site to make it easy for anyone to translate your blog. However, a translation service will not always be exactly correct, so human translation is preferred.
- Hosting/IP – Many foreign search engines look at the host location, or IP, of websites in order to make sure users are getting relevant results. It isn’t always possible to get your website hosted in another country, although this would be ideal, so will want to work through Google to roll out your website globally.
- Directories – Registering your website to appear in foreign directories is a great start to getting the backlinks you need to rank well (on the majority of foreign search engines).
There are many different tips and specific things that a blog owner would need to do if he/she wanted to get started with optimization for foreign search engines. Therefore, it is usually best if you really research the country and subsequent engine you’re trying to target, go through some of the basics, and then get more advanced.
Do you optimize your blog for a foreign search engine? What was your biggest challenge? How did you begin? Help give advice to other readers in the comments below!