Good afternoon SOS’ers, I’ve finally made it down to the International Search Summit and shall attempt to take over from Louis Venter’s sterling live blogging efforts this morning.
Points in Common?
All of these countries have been doing business in a certain way for over 3,000 years and it seems to work for them. It’s not likely to change overnight. A lot of their business is conducted with a nod to ‘The Art of War’. Crucial points to note:
NOTE: The internet in China is not like we are used to it. Every Western popular social media platform is banned, it is impossible to do business in China and host outside of the country. They will show week-old web page caches unashamedly if necessary in order to restrict content.
So how do people find you?
Baidu is by far the largest search engine, with 75-80% of the search market, then followed by Google. However because the population is so large, even on ly 5% of users is still equivalent to around 25 million users. Don’t necessarily ignore the smaller engines.
Social media in China is totally different, you need understand their ways. E.g. QQ, T.Sina, Youku, Douban, RenRen. Baidu has 15 different varieties of social platforms. It is branded as ‘simple and reliable search’. The most visited link on the Baidu homepage is a link to a page which is a list of links .This is because it is simpler for a user to navigate to a page through this rather then figure out how to type the name of the site in the url bar.
SEO for Baidu
Baidu Paid Search
PPC service is called Phoenix – now sits at top of standard results like Adwords
New Baidu features:
Keyword Research Tools:
These are only available through an account with Phoenix Nest, they are very good but you do need to be fluent in Chinese to be able to use them.
Biggest e-commerce site in China: TaoBao
China’s equivalent to eBay, which failed hugely because their domain was simply too difficult for people to type in. TaoBao owned by Alibaba and is mostly C2C focused.
In 2010, it had more than 370 million users. Most merchandise is sold brand new and at a fixed price. Auctions are not as big as eBay but they can work very fast and efficiently.
Chinese Payment Systems
Just as China as become its own world in terms of the internet, they also control their money. CHinese currency is not exchangeable and for online shopping, most Chinese use their UnionPay debit cards. Few have western currency debit and credit cards. UnionPay is owned by the Chinese government. Alipay is the most usual platform. PayPal is not available but is difficult to set up and has very low purchase limits.
Many Western companies have failed in China due to forgetting the lack of exchangeable currency in China, with almost all Chinese people only having access to UnionPay cards, which is only in Chinese RMB.
China is a very difficult and challenging market to penetrate, although its potential is huge. Baidu is now the second most used search engine in the world.
Search on Yahoo
The largest search engine in Taiwan, it has not yet switched to Bing driven results. It is like old-school Yahoo optimisation. Think greater keyword density on the page and basic on-site optimisation.
Google is still useful, there are not the same censorship issues as there are in mainland China. Youtube is huge in Taiwan as is Facebook.
Wretch.cc is the biggest Taiwanese community site .
This shows in how the websites work. Their main portals: Naver and Daum often have animated figures and additional ‘innovative’ aspects to the visitor experience.
South Koreans see Google as boring and old-fashioned in its functionality however social media platforms such as Twitter are very popular.
SEO for Naver
PPC for Naver is very very difficult to get into, opportunities for foreign sites are very limited.
Biggest search engine is now Google, Yahoo has 57% f search but it is not owned by Yahoo USA. It has tehrefore switched its index to Google results. Googel has 30% of search in Japan therefore together, they own nearly 90% of the market.
SEO in Japan
Lots of very good tools, unexpectedly – mostly free, e.g.:
The largest social site is Gree with 90% of all users accessing it via their mobiles, twitter is also very popular. Shopping sites are hugely popular, e.g. amazon.co.jp.
The Far East is challenging and frustrating. However it also has immense potential and opportunity for those that persevere. It has a huge learning curve.
Photo by NinetyEast.
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