Wrap Up of the International Search Summit – New York 2011

Wrap Up of the International Search Summit – New York 2011

13th September 2011

The International Search Summit took place for the very first time in New York September 12th 2011 in association with SMX East at the Sheraton New York. Organised by Web Certain, the conference focused on multinational SEO & international Markets and was presented by an impressive line-up of speakers including Bill Hunt & Andy Atkins-Krüger

Sessions were fast paced and covered a lot of information for SEO’s regarding international search & project management from the ground up, what to consider, and a lot about what not to do with regards to Google Translate!

Topics included: strategic planning, SEM project management, global search & social trends, Geo-targeting, cultural differences, and fast growing markets such as Russia and Korea. Finishing off with interactive breakout sessions for either SEO or PPC for 1-to-1 Q&A.

Being new to international search, I found the day invaluable and was left wanting to know more about global markets and where else I should start to think about targeting.

International Search Summit LogoISS Line-Up

  • Introducing International Search & The Global Players – Andy Atkins-Krüger
  • Enter New Markets: How to go Global – Michael Bonfils
  • Global Search & Social Behaviours & Trends – Brett Peterson
  • International SEO – Bill Hunt
  • Indexing International Social Signals – Rishab Aiyer Ghosh
  • Geo-Targeting: TLDS, Local Domains, Sub-Domains and Folders – Andy Atkins-Krüger
  • Managing Global SEO & PPC In-House – Janet Bartoli
  • Making an Impact in Russia – Preston Carey
  • Navigating Search in South Korea – Jae Choi
  • Breakout Sessions – SEO: Bill Hunt / PPC: Andy Atkins-Krüger

Stand out Speaker Sessions

For me they all stood out, but these were the sessions that were the most insightful and useful for me!

Enter New Markets: How to go Global – Michael Bonfils

The session started with the idea of a scoring system before thinking about going into global markets in order to find the strongest areas to target.

The issue that stood out for me is the importance with international search to make sure that you have covered all linguistic keyword variants such as dialects, diversification and dropped accents. This will help you cover more SEO space that you may otherwise have missed by targeting keywords that according to tools you ‘should’ be targeting

I found that localised preferences fascinating such as the fact that Korea responds better to busy pages, and in Japan local is everything.

Takeway – research all aspects of your marketplace before embarking on a campaign in a new global market.

Global Search & Social Behaviours & Trends – Brett Peterson

Brett probably has the largest amount of current statistical data for social trends that I have ever seen! An incredible insight into what is changing online, how users share, where they share, and on which platforms.

The focus seems to be moving away from a culture of creating content into one of transmitting which means that brands need to think more and more about creating content themselves. Links to other micro blogs and personal photos took up the highest percentage of online sharing, with South Korea & Soudi Arabia increasing in social interactions at an alarming rate!

The surprise for me was the advent of ‘Facebook Fatigue’ with 16-24 year olds showing a decline in usage but there has been significant growth for 45-54 year olds. Privacy in particular is one of the reasons for drop-off, but the question is – where are they going?

International SEO – Bill Hunt

This session saw Bill win another well deserved best speaker medallion for his presentation.

Covering issues such as IP detection blocking spiders, best practices not being integrated globally, and how to watch out for search results getting routed back to the default pages. Other things to watch for: pop ups that can’t be indexed, country maps that can’t be crawled, restrictive javascript and restrictive robots txt / Meta Robots, restricting titles to an artificial number that doesn’t allow for expansion/contraction in different languages.

The list is endless and there were so many other things covered in this talk that it is impossible to summarise them all, but I will leave you with the major international SEO tip of the day which is download the firefox plug-in ‘user agent switcher’ – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/user-agent-switcher/ to see if you have made exceptions for search engines for different operating systems and platforms.

Indexing International Social Signals – Rishab Aiyer Ghosh

An interesting and informative introduction to www.topsy.com – real time search engine for the social web.

The premise is that social platforms such as Twitter timestamp everything which means that Topsy can analyse social content and present results in real time. Google on the other hand can take time to update search results with current news data, ordering data that is most popular by links.

Using uploads on camera phones to Twitter as the example, Rishab searched for the term ‘Syria’. Google showed maps and images of Syria, and Wikipedia entries. However, Topsy showed real time uploads for street protests from web users in Syria at that time. Using social scoring, Topsy can also order Tweet Streams in order of relevance.

Tweet Heat Mapping can help dynamically positioned content such as the Huffington Post to re-order popular content based on the fastest talked about and current data not necessarily the total amount of views over time.

The obvious thought is that spammers may take advantage to gain newsworthy positions, but Rishab pointed out that most spam content is not re-tweeted as much, and that Topsy has a robust filtering system to avoid this.

I had not come across Topsy before, and I will defnately be using it a lot more.

yandex Russia Preston CareyMaking an Impact in Russia – Preston Carey

One word… Yandex!

The Russian search engine with more of a Yahoo type portal feel has a market share of 65% of all search traffic in Russia, and with 44% of Russian users having Yandex as their home page, this really is a force to be reckoned with.

Local is everything in Russia, and with 180,000 advertisers and a 58% online ad share, and with links to local university talent to grow their expanding developer team you can see how much of a force.

Yandex is replicating, exponentially growing at a much faster rate than Google and is moving into other countries.

With a rapidly expanding Paid search advertising network and plans to move it’s bilingual account teams into Europe ‘soon’ – I’m thinking ‘Olympics 2012’

Unsurprisingly, Preston was also awarded a medallion for best speaker.

The day ended with the Meet & Greet for SMX East but that’s another blog post!

More posts about SMX East 2011


Be sure to also look at our overview page of SMX East 2011

The coverage of SMX East and ISS on State of Search in part made possible by a sponsoring from Majestic SEO who have the largest Link Intelligence database in Search. To get your free trial, give a card to this blogger in person at the conference or drop us an e-mail.


Written By
Jackie Hole is an Award Winning Search Marketing consultant specialising in Paid Search, Conversion Improvement and Organic Search / SEO for the USA, Canada and European markets. Starting out in Multimedia & Interface Design, Jackie has over 15 years experience in online marketing and was recently awarded European Search Personality...
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