Bas van den Beld

Bas van den Beld

I am a Web/search strategist, international search specialist, trainer, and well-respected blogger. I am well informed about what’s going on in the world of Internet and search marketing worldwide and especially Europe. I am the owner of, a website on which myself and some other bloggers try to look at the next step in search. I am also the owner of NetTraject, a Dutch company that advises on international search matters and provides training in search engine marketing and project management. I am also founder of I am a regular speaker on different marketing and search events. Finally I am the host of several podcasts, including a weekly show on a WebmasterRadio.FM.


Where To Look For Cultural Differences In Europe

It has been said many times before: optimizing for search and / or Social Media in Europe is more than simply translating a few pages from your US website. Not just because translating will get you in trouble with language differences all across Europe, but also because culture plays a major role in how successful […]


Yandex & Seznam: Local Powers That Be In Europe

A few weeks ago, the Czech online industry suddenly was in an uproar. The search engine Seznam was seemingly outranked by Google in market share. With almost the entire of Europe being dominated by Google, the Czech Republic, together with the Russian Federation, held an exceptional position. In these countries, Google isn’t the most dominant […]


A Guide To European Search Conferences

If want to learn from other search marketers about your trade, one of the best ways (next to reading sites like Search Engine Land) is to attend search conferences. And there are many out there to choose from. Within the US you can probably pay a visit to a conference weekly if you wanted to. […]


European Domains: Changes & Opportunities For SEOs

I recently spoke at the Domainfest conference in Prague. The conference, of course, was all about selling and buying domains, but they asked me to speak about search. “Domaining” is related to search, but somehow the two worlds rarely intersect. Yet they do need each other. In this post, I’d like to show you around […]


Alternatives To Google In Europe

Google is the dominant force in Europe—there is no other search engine which even comes close to Google’s market share. As I wrote in my last article, Europe could use some competition for Google. Bing should be the designated search engine to become that big competitor, but for now that is not the case. Despite […]


Europe Needs Bing, But Does Bing Need Europe?

A simple look at search market share in Europe shows that Europe is a Google continent. Though the search giant’s headquarters are physically based in Silicon Valley, a huge part of their community is based in Europe. Only Yandex in Russia and Seznam in Czech are able to compete with Google, but only on a […]


Universal Search: A Huge Opportunity For European SEMs

Although Google’s universal search results were introduced in the U.S. in 2007, they’re a relatively recent development in Europe, and not fully implemented everywhere. Universal search results show not only text links but videos, images, local results, maps and much more. And the problem is, many European web sites aren’t taking advantage of the opportunities […]


Careful: The European Union Is Messing With Your Cookie Jar

Europe sometimes steers its own course when it comes to privacy matters. I’ve written about the European privacy gaffes before. Some countries like Germany, France and Italy really take a firm stand on privacy matters when it comes to search engines. These countries take aggressive positions with Google and other search engines. Other countries, however, […]


How To Target The Savvy European Youth Market

Europeans spend a lot of time on the web—half of all Europeans are regular users and 80% use a high speed connection. Thats nice, but every search marketer out there will tell you that you need to target specific groups. And one specific group of Europeans should be very interesting to search marketers: the youngsters. […]


How Europeans Engage With Social Media

You seemingly can’t live without social media these days, or at least, that is what many in our industry believe. Why? Because “everybody” is using it. Everybody is communicating, “everybody is a publisher.” But does that mean that every European is publishing through social media? Well, not exactly. Yes, Europeans are online en masse and […]

Google Analytics

Avoiding Google’s European Privacy Gaffes

In many ways Europe and the US are similar, but there’s one key difference that’s essential for search marketers to understand, and that’s the way Europeans and Americans look at privacy. Europeans value privacy over virtually everything else, even before freedom of speech. Not sufficiently recognizing this difference has caused Google to run afoul of […]


Marketing With Social Media? Try Some Local European Networks

For online marketers, optimizing for social media has become not just interesting, but a must. All major search engines have embraced social media. And with Google incorporating Facebook content into its real time results the integration of social media and search is a fact. But social media is not just a “stand alone” feature. Many […]

Google Analytics

Why Coming In Second Can Be A Good Thing

Sometimes being European can be very frustrating. Let me rephrase that: when it comes to internet, tech and search, being a European is very, very frustrating. Why? Because Europe always comes in second. Cool new things like Google’s Nexus phone, the iPad or even Bing are invariably launched in the US and Europeans have to […]


Look To Europe For Mobile SEM Lessons

How often have you predicted “next year will be the year mobile will make its breakthrough?” And did you make the prediction for 2010? If you did, you are not alone. But maybe you shouldn’t make the prediction this year. Not because mobile won’t break through, but because it might have actually arrived in 2009, […]


That Small Country In Europe Offers Big Opportunities

Are you marketing only to the larger countries in the world? That may be a mistake, and I’ll explain in this post, where I’m taking you to one of the smaller countries in Europe. The Netherlands is only 16,000 square miles, but still has 17 million people living on that small piece of ground, and […]


SEM Lessons From The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

Twenty years ago the fall of the Berlin Wall didn't just change politics in Europe—it changed Europeans behavior. To this day we work and search differently because of fall of the wall, and there are valuable lessons for search marketers in examining in examining this historic event.


Watch Those Rules & Regulations With European SEM Campaigns

In my last column I addressed cultural differences within European countries. The main point was that Europe may be one continent, but you cannot treat every European the same way—there are many cultural differences among people in different countries, and in some cases, even within a single country. This is even more true from a […]


The Curious Case Of Google’s Bizarre UK Search Results

Results from all over the world have been appearing in search results pages. Matt Cutts explained this was all good because Google wants to become more relevant and .com results might be more relevant in some cases. But UK SEO's believe there is more. The results are in many cases not relevant at all. Is Google broken? Or is it something else?

Receive daily search news and analysis.