Wrap Up of the International Search Summit – ISS London 2011

Wrap Up of the International Search Summit – ISS London 2011

29th November 2011

The International Search Summit took place in London at the British Library on November 24th 2011. Having been to ISS New York earlier in the year, I thought it would be hard to top , but the UK session surpassed expectations with not only an impressive line up, but high level delegates from the world of international search.

Each session one was a gem in it’s own right. If you haven’t yet booked on to an ISS I recommend it, as it could just give you an insight into strategy that you may not be using for your less global campaigns.

ISS London 2011 Line-Up

  • Introducing International Search & The Global Players – Andy Atkins-Krüger- WebCertain
  • Global Search & Social Behaviours & Trends – Brett Petersen – GlobalWebIndex
  • Global Search & Social Case Study – Tracy Falke – Streetsmart Social
  • International PPC – Anders Hjorth – BDBL Media
  • International SEO – Martin Macdonald, Annabel Hodges – OMD
  • Geo-Targeting, IDNs & Local Hosting – Andy Atkins-Krüger- WebCertain
  • Global Reputation Management – Kristjan Mar Hauksson – Nordic eMarketing
  • How Social Effects SEO: Global Edition – Marty Weintraub – aimClear
  • Beyond The Written Word: Video – Meghan Burton, Neill Horie – Webcertain
  • What Japan Can Teach Us About The Mobile web – Koichiro Fukasawa – Wasabi Communications
  • Interactive debate: Breakout Sessions

Stand out Speaker Sessions

For me they all stood out, but these were the sessions that were the most insightful

Global Search & Social Case Study – Tracy Falke – Streetsmart Social

With 75% of us accessing social media daily and peer recommendations being a key factor in 50% of purchase decisions. Tracy looked at media fragmentation, what you own and what you don’t. The session centered around the ‘Holy Trinity’ of Content>Search>Social and the premise that without content, you are essentially keyword stuffing.

We were shown some excellent examples of campaign fails, social successes and the difference between brands that know how to work the space to calm down any bad press compared to those that ignore it at their peril with a close to genius strategy for taking the heat off your main brand if faced with a social situation that could damage you.


  • Dedicate time and resources
  • Own the search page and take control of your SEO results
  • make sure you can deliver what you promise
  • start a customer service channel – deal with the issues – divert attention
  • automation is key

Tracy Falk won the medallion for the best speaker for this session.

How Social Effects SEO: Global Edition – Marty Weintraub – aimClear

This session regarding how to use search operators to gain insight and find the conversations that you should be having right now with your marketplace. There was so much included in this session, that I’ve written an additional blog post: Killer Search Operator Tactics for the Social Marketer.

International PPC – Anders Hjorth – BDBL Media

Anders presented us with his ‘Digital Lotus’

  • Contents
  • Distribution
  • Amplification
  • Remarketing

Using examples of top keywords translated side by side with real people and automated software we were shown a remarkable insight into the comparison of Google Translate compared to manual translation.

Both Anders and Andy stress the importance of back translation in order to make sure you are on the right track!

Global Search & Social Behaviours & Trends – Brett Petersen – GlobalWebIndex

Brett wowed us with more statistical data. Blogging as we know it has has decreased by 4% worldwide and overall onlince behaviours are increasing and changing.

There is a growing differentiation between markets making more opportunities for local players, and there is no such thing as a global online strategy which means that social media presences must be adjusted for each market. Online influencers will increasingly emerge from outside the English language and there is a definite move away form PC based internet.

International SEO – Martin Macdonald, Annabel Hodges – OMD

Our very own Annabel Hodges with Martin Macdonald discussing, using the right tools for International Search and the benefits of not taking the easy way out.

Using the example of using a Spanish plug in to translate the content. 100% of the search volume disappeared overnight after the Panda update with the conclusion being that ttranslation shouldn’t just be an auto generated page or it will be seen as spam.

Looking at issues with country specific domains, and subfolders, Martin favours TLD’s but not for SEO reasons, for e-commerce and consumer satisfaction with potentially a higher conversion. You are more likely to get natural links with country specific domains. However, Annabel, suggests that your choice depends on how you work who you work with and what you do as how all of this translates into day to day life can dictate how you handle your international search.

Annabel suggests that optimising just on language is short sighted as different search engines have a different focus depending on the country. Using the example of local cultures -Belgium vs Holland – same language, different culture, different markets. Stressing that International SEO is about day to day life and that some of the tactics can be subjective depending on a wide range of factors.

  • Do it properly & don’t cut corners
  • Understand the culture that you are optimising for
  • Sort out your sitelinks, re-directs and flags pages – give the right international signals for Google
  • 20 second rule for International Search – look at Apple – it seems to work
  • Make sure you have the resource to back up a multi TLD strategy

Global Reputation Management – Kristjan Mar Hauksson – Nordic eMarketing

Kristjan takes us through many screens regarding negative press for Iceland and creating 3 or 4 positive posts, to counteract it. Later in the talk, we were shown a case study about the positive content created for the ‘Inspired by Iceland’ project using a video. Then then allowed people to take the content and use it to do whatever they wanted with. They also took over the bigger brand ‘Lonely Planet’ making sure they were visible.

The result was an increase in national pride, and a great social strategy and total engagement in the content, the concept and a marketing strategy to counter any bad press. Watch for yourself here.


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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