Multinational Search looked at the complex challenges of search marketing in multiple countries and languages. Columnists focused both on the technical complexities of creating and managing campaigns spread across the world as well as the cultural issues that arise when trying to appeal to different local tastes and needs. The Multinational Search column no longer runs as a standalone column but instead has been incorporated into the All Things SEO column.

Is International SEO Really That Different From “National” SEO?

Usually, when I'm asked if "international" search or SEO is really different, the person asking the question has made up their mind that it's actually not. Usually, they have a view that international SEO is all about infrastructure, domains and local domains and not much else. But is this true? You'll probably not expect me, someone who's based their last 14 years specializing in international search saying, "Of course it is!" But can I defend that position? I'm going to have a jolly good go at answering all of the "buts" -- please use the comments to agree or disagree with me! "Intern [...]


How To Get Alignment Of Your Global Search Programs

I just wrapped up a strategy session in Europe with two different companies and wanted to recap some of the issues I encountered and how we are working through them. It was interesting that in both cases, their US programs were fairly advanced and organized, yet their local market programs were under-performing and in a few cases non-existent. Selling The Opportunity In the very first meeting, I had a Brand Manager ask why he should bother with search marketing. I have not heard this question in a number of years. For his brand there were only about 35,000 searches each month for the prod [...]


Why Google Should Retire The Global Market Finder

Does Google really "get" international? There are clearly some very clever people within Google who do -- but the corporation's behavior bizarrely still tends to suggest a silicon valley tech company that's a little insulated from the non-English speaking world. Take, for example, the "Global Market Finder" tool which you can find here. This tool was originally conceived in the UK and then made its way into the Google mothership. The idea behind the tool is that you can enter a keyword or several keywords -- and it will then automatically in a matter of seconds rank the markets where the [...]


International SEO Strategy: Get Trusted Quickly

Google Trusted Stores Program

Google rolled out its Trusted Stores program earlier this month, acknowledging the importance of trust to improving online shopping experiences.


The Latest On Google’s Hreflang Tag & Other Learnings From International Search Summit @SMX Advanced

Google has been moving lots of goal posts for us all recently and the "Hreflang" tag is a case in point. A succession of Google speakers has presented the latest "Hreflang" thinking at International Search Summits @SMX throughout 2012. On each occasion, the presentation and explanation was different from the one before. The bad news is that keeping up with the changes has been tough, but the good news is that Google has actually been listening to the multinational market place for once! But Don't Canonicals & Hreflang Tags Belong Together? Susan Moskwa presented first when Google was [...]


How To Implement The hreflang Element Using XML Sitemaps

After much confusion and frustration from multilingual site webmasters on how to properly use the hreflang element, Google announced new functionality to allow multilingual and multinational site owners to set the rel="alternate" hreflang="x" link annotation using XML sitemaps. This is a much better way of implementing it than telling webmasters to add hundreds of lines of code to their pages while simultaneously telling them to reduce lines of code. Help For Multiple Language Countries There are countries like Canada, Switzerland and Belgium that have multiple national languages and/or [...]


Is It Possible To Benchmark Country Against Country In Multinational Search Campaigns?

No. That is to say, no method of comparing country to country statistics fairly and accurately really exists. Thank you for reading this article and I hope you have a good day. Now, don't tell me you want me to explain that? In the case of global organisations, the performance of businesses, people and campaigns are frequently compared. It's quite logical if you think about it, that executives of global entities are going to look across the line and compare one performance against another. You can argue that this is part of being "global" and there are marketing textbooks I know which ex [...]


5 Tips To Manage Your Multinational Social Media

Local Social Networks Drive Major Traffic One of the biggest challenges to delivering an effective social media campaign for big, multinational brands is executing the strategy on a practical level: you'll have multiple networks, profiles, languages, and social media managers to control across different countries. Implementing your social channels effectively is critical for search optimisation these days, so getting on top of your global campaign at a local level is more important than ever before. [caption id="attachment_118738" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Social means different things in different countries aroun [...]


A Glossary Of 15 Really Useful International Search Marketing Terms

A conversation with a number of international search marketers recently showed that their range of experience ranged from expert to beginner, despite their influential career positions. By the way, this doesn't mean they weren't all highly talented people - their routes to their positions were just very different. The discussion did make me realise the importance of understanding the names of things - technical terms if you like. Time someone put that right, with this glossary list. Canonical Tag A tag which is included in the page HTML to indicate a single URL for otherwise duplicate con [...]


8 Steps To Maximize Success In Global Site Migrations

With the change from winter to spring, we are seeing a lot of companies bringing their international sites out of hibernation and refreshing them with new looks as well as new content. I am seeing this even more new sites evolving in Asia and Latin America where companies are trying to capture significant opportunities in these emerging markets. Furthermore, I am also seeing a significant number of migrations to new content management systems (CMS) that are more accommodating to Asian languages, resulting in complete changes in URL structures and content volumes. The planning and opportu [...]


5 Tips For Maintaining International SEO Knowledge With Training

Talking to the Global SEO manager of a large organization with offices around the world, he was bemoaning the high turnover of staff and the difficulty of keeping people in SEO posts around the world with the right level of SEO knowledge and expertise to achieve their goals. It's a challenge many organizations face. That's not to say that these businesses are bad at retaining staff -- the very fact that they are global often means that they offer something special to the world. Their staff are often not moving onto other organziations either -- but simply are being promoted to a different p [...]


New Search Engine Attrakt Focuses On Curated Content

Ever amassed a collection of Web bookmarks on a particular subject and then wanted to search through their contents? Delicious users will be familiar with link curating and sharing, but there's no ability to actually search the contents of the bookmarked pages and sites. A few Florentines, mostly former colleagues from the Italian internet company Dada, set out in April 2011 to develop a new search engine, Attrakt, which would focus specifically on hosting specialized search engines curated by the Web community. Attrakt's Index Relies On Curator Contributions As such, Attrakt isn't a [...]


Does Booming International Search Mask A Google Decline?

Google's recent quarterly financial statements sounded pretty rosy overall. Many have much to celebrate in the figures. Stockbrokers and city analysts were much more worried about Google's cunning share split. I haven't seen a single commentator consider the US versus the rest of the world. Well, here it is! Let's take the raw sales performance first. Below is a chart which looks at the rate of growth of the US, UK and then the rest of the world. You can see that the dramatic peak of two quarters ago (mainly from the international markets) has disappeared and things have returned to steady [...]


Stop Blaming IT! How Communication Could Improve From The SEO Side

Last time, we talked about making your Global Search Marketing Ecosystem  thrive and one of the key elements for success was effective IT Integration. Adam Sherk's recent article on Nine Common SEO Road Blocks delves into some of the IT challenges. His article identifies three of the nine barriers being directly related to IT and two others indirectly related those being "lack of consistency" and "lack of coordination." Before we have a wholesale bashing of our IT brethren, let's consider that some of the problems might actually be coming from the SEO side. I have done a number of intervie [...]


How To Run A Pay Per Click Campaign In Multiple Languages Without An Agency

No doubt many clients would love to imaging a world in which they didn't have to deal with agencies or external resources. Niall Donohue won the Medallion Speaker Award at the International Search Summit alongside SMX Munich with a presentation which, at its heart, considered the best way to run Google pay per click campaigns in multiple languages without any of the normal external resources. In this situation, many would resort to translation and translation agencies (readers of this column know already what a poor view I have of that) -- but that's not how Niall and the team at Be2 approa [...]


Tips For Multinational Mobile Site Optimisation

Google's advice for mobile Sitemap.xml files In previous posts in this column, I've covered the intricacies of multinational search from a technical SEO's standpoint. Leveraging multinational markup while clearing up in-site duplicate content and avoiding multinational homepage calamities is no easy matter to coordinate for big site SEO. Bringing all of those strategies to bear, and then also attempting to integrate a mobile site strategy would seem, on the face of it, to be a difficult task. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Mobile Sites, Feature Phones & The Smartphone Revolution We are fortunate to be li [...]


Is Apple Is About To Launch A New Global Search Engine?

Did the headline catch your eye? I really wanted a teaser headline for this post which would entice people to read and discover the details of a new global search engine -- but for that message, a teaser alone just wasn't credible. But when I added the word "Apple" to the headline, it completely changed its dynamics -- just like Apple does every time it enters a new business area. So, I must be talking about Siri right? Wrong. I agree actually that Siri is a really important development, but Apple has much more up its sleeve than just Siri. What Does Apple Have Up Its Sleeve? On the 23 [...]


Is Your Global Search Ecosystem Thriving Or Dying?

Nearly two years ago, I wrote about creating a Global Search Center of Excellence and since have had the opportunity to keynote a number of company search summits, conference panels and then last week at the International Search Summit at SMX, I spoke for an entire session on how and why you should use your Center of Excellence to manage a thriving Search Ecosystem. The interest and adoption of this global management approach has been far greater than I could have imagined from a single article. Maintaining Your Global Search Ecosystem We in search often joke that search is the center of [...]


Cutting Through The Confusion Of Google’s Guidance To Multilingual Website Owners

Google speakers at both the International Search Summit San Jose and SMX West went to town on how multilingual website owners should proceed when geo-targeting their sites using the canonical and hreflang tags. Susan Moskwa provided a very helpful session on the Monday at the International Search Summit event and was followed by Maile Ohye at SMX West (with Susan's support from the audience). Suddenly, A Lot Of Code To Implement Why all this effort? Well frankly, not many have been adopting Google's latest advice. Reason? Not many actually understand what it's all about. The reaction f [...]


3 Design Catastrophes To Avoid & 1 Great SEO Solution For Multinational Website Homepages

No Chance Of SEO Performance When Your Site Is Invisible... On any website, getting the homepage right is a critical (and difficult) series of important design decisions. When you're also catering for navigation to appropriate countries covering much of the globe, that difficulty is increased and the impact of getting it wrong can be catastrophic for your SEO. I've seen plenty of different solutions in my time, and the number of disasters heavily outweighs the successes. And why? Because they are homepages. As the highest profile page on a website - and the portal to a brand experience - homepages have so many different (and conflicting) tasks [...]


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