As most of you know I have a background in multilingual or international search marketing with speaking engagements at mayor conferences, e.g. SMX, SES and Internetworld. However, since changing jobs I noticed that multilingual search doesn’t seem to be much of a rocket science as most countries in the Western World are dominated by Google and its algorithm, and the Eastern World has a few search engines you need to watch out for, e.g. Yandex in Russia, Baidu in China, and Naver in Korea.
However, the key to make international search marketing successful is the use of native speakers for the tasks of SEO and PPC, such as keyword research, link building, campaign set up, landing page optimisation etc. Of course it is debatable whether doing that in-house or with satellite office is more successful, but that is a question of business models and objectives and should not be discussed.
Being bi-lingual one of my interests is how to deal with cultural differences and language differences. Teaching my son German whilst speaking to my wife in English is a challenge on its own. Even Eric Schmidt from Google said that in five years time the majority of the web will be “non English”, the web will be dominated by Chinese-language and social media content. That just shows the significance of international and multilingual search marketing.
One of the new developments are the International Domain Names. This does not refer to names in Western characters we are used to but the revelation is that you find domain names in Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, and dozens of other non-Latin languages.
The BBC had an opinion on the multilingual side of the web too, particularly with the Internet having its 40th anniversary. They say that the international domain structure has been worked on since the mid 90s.
What implications would that have for us in the UK or us in search? I believe this will not make a huge difference, however the run for the keyword rich domains in other languages and characters will start now. People will apply the knowledge to different languages, as they have in the past, with more freedom to integrate their language in the URL structure, domain names etc. I believe it is a huge step forward, giving the web an international presence as it should have.
Not only will the web be more complex in five years, taking in consideration the growth it is going through at the moment, but with the adoption to languages, and that includes the instant translation on Google Wave, or translation of websites, we will get closer to our human neighbours in the East, West, North and South. So the Internet becomes a connection tool, and with being a connection tool, one big social network…..
The world wide web is your oyster, or something like that.