Differences in International SERPS – Bas van den Beld – International Search Summit

Differences in International SERPS – Bas van den Beld – International Search Summit

18th May 2011

Good morning, the third session of the day was about the differences in International SERPS and presented by our very own Bas.

There are a lot of people and cultures around the world and each will have a different behaviour when using a search engine. Google confirmed that over 20% of all online searchers have a local intent therefore the results need to change for each location. Google still dosent have the entire world covered.

A restaurant search in London is similar to New York which is similar to Madrid and Munich. Holland however had a blended search with reviews and pictures. The reason that the local pictures aren’t in the other countries could mean that there is a lack of optimisation.

Second search was for a laptop bag. Holland has a brand sector at the top and shopping results dominating the top part of the page. UK does not have the brand sector but does have the shopping results. Germany tends to have more PPC ads but apart from that is similar to the UK.

Third search was for Lady Gaga as it’s a good example of how universal search is integrated. Every country has different images. Every image from the country specific engine is from a website in that geographic region. If you are launching a product based website ensure your pictures are in that country. In Holland universal search images are on the top of the page therefore a good opportunity. Main concert events are integrated as rich snippets in the description. One major change in the US is that you can play a Lady Gaga song from the SERP. This isn’t allowed in all countries though. Videos tend to be localised to the geographic engine too.

YouTube has issues in Europe especially in Germany. German court finds YouTube liable for copyright infringement which is similar to Italy. This results in a lot of messages that the video is not available in your country. Make sure that you adhere to regulations. Things are changing rapidly especially from a privacy point of view.

Things in the US that aren’t in Europe yet:

1) Google Boost – allows you to advertise in maps
2) Google Map Maker
3) Google News Near You – Integration of local and mobile. Data collection via android will drive growth in this area
4) Expandable stories – News items that are filled with images, videos and more related articles.
5) Google voice search – in the UK but not in the rest of Europe, it will affect keyword data and research


Written By
Louis Venter is the founding director and CEO of MediaVision, a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) company specialising in all areas of search. His particular interests are organic search marketing, paid search marketing, conversion strategy and online PR.
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