Global SEO - Dreams, Tears and Glory - What it Takes to Win


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Getting to the top of the rankings in a single country is tough enough. Trying to replicate that same feat in multiple markets can lead to tears. Do you use a single domain name with a directory for each country, like IBM or do you use subdomains? Do you go local and use country specific domain names for each market and host them all from a single data centre or do you make the effort to host each website in the local market and optimise the content and currency for locals?

Do you really trust Google to do the right thing and give love to all your content equally regardless of the cross site duplication? Do you believe that a single website with multiple Webmaster Tools’ accounts is enough to specify which content is right for each market? While Apple’s sheer brand strength is enough to allow it to rank well almost anywhere, will the same approach work for your business based out of Australia. And that’s all before you get through the challenges of language and cultural issues.

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Global SEO - Dreams, Tears and Glory - What it Takes to Win

  1. 1. International SEO<br />Dreams, Tears & Glory<br />SMX Sydney – April 2011<br />Tom Petryshen<br />
  2. 2. Dreams take usto mystical places<br />
  3. 3. Dreams drive us beyond expectations<br />
  4. 4. But success in Global SEOcan be elusive<br />
  5. 5. The road ahead is fraught with pitfalls & disappointment<br />
  6. 6. Where do we start?<br />
  7. 7. What are the options?What works best for smaller companies as they expand into new markets<br />Sub Folders(<br />Sub domains(<br />Cc TLD(<br />Works best for large, global businesses with strong brands and lots of links.<br />Best for smaller businesses trying to launch in new markets. May require more upfront & ongoing investment. Provides best opportunity for success.<br />Sub domains are treated as new sites. Not as effective as cc TLDs.<br />
  8. 8. Googlebot is a True Blue AmericanIt does not follow IP based redirects and will ignore other country specific content.<br />
  9. 9. Basic Sitemaps Work BestIKEA uses a simple sitemap which allows users and crawlers select the correct country.<br />
  10. 10. Don’t Hide LinksImplementations like UPS make it difficult for crawlers to follow content.<br />
  11. 11. Instead Use a JavaScript Light BoxFeatured on, this light box lets users decide and does not affect crawlers.<br />
  12. 12. Consider Opportunity Costs of Each OptionThere are pros and cons as well as different opportunities for each option.<br />
  13. 13. Set Country Target in Webmaster ToolsDon’t let Google decide which country is the right one. Set the target in GWT.<br />
  14. 14. Apple Sub Folder Case Study (Good)Apple’s implementation of sub folders works well. <br />
  15. 15. Search Engines See Clear Division b/w SitesApple’s method internal linking and site specific anchor text help localise content.<br />
  16. 16. IBM Sub Folder Case Study (Ugly)Finding results for a non competitive keyword on Google AU is a challenge.<br />
  17. 17. IBM Sub Folder Case Study (Ugly)You have to know what you’re looking for to find IBM in Australia.<br />
  18. 18. Using Sub Folders Can be Hit...SAS’ implementation out performs IBM’s results<br />
  19. 19. Sub Folders can Result in Missed OpportunitiesNeither company performs consistently when pages from country is selected.<br />Numbers in red resulted in false positives (not the ideal page).<br />
  20. 20. Markets are Inherently LocalCompanies must localise and give control to marketing teams to maximise results.<br />
  21. 21. Cultures Have BiasesAll things equal (price, quality, etc.), people prefer to buy from local providers.<br />
  22. 22. Markets Appreciate a Local PresenceIf you take the effort to localise your presence, both buyers and SEs will reward you.<br /><br /><br /><br />
  23. 23. What About Content Duplication?Localise content to benefits both users and search engines for top results.<br />Search engines do not penalise local sites for duplicate content. However, it’s still important to localise content.<br />Localise (spelling, colloquialism, slang)<br />Add some variety to your Titles and content<br />Mix it up (shoot for up to 10% difference)<br />
  24. 24. What About Hosting?If you use a cc TLD or use GWT, local hosting is not required, but...<br />Host locally if latency is an issue for users<br />We have seen results faster in sites we host locally then having all cc TLDs hosted out of a single data centre<br />Why leave it to chance?<br />
  25. 25. Why Leave Success to Chance?Google’s best interest is not your best interest.<br />
  26. 26. A local cc TLD is Critical in Competitive MarketsCheck your prospective markets to see what type of option ranks best prior to jumping in.<br />
  27. 27. A Typical System ArchitectureMost internal systems do not provide any flexibility for marketers to localise<br />Internal Systems<br />External Systems<br />Booking Application<br />Email<br />CMS<br />Blog<br /><br />Microsites<br /><br />Mobile<br />Web Facing Systems<br />
  28. 28. A Better Approach: Distributed System ArchitectureNeed to separate mission critical systems from marketing functions and free marketers.<br />External Systems<br />Internal Systems<br />Internal Marketing System<br />Email<br />Booking Application<br />Publisher and Marketing CMS<br />SMS<br />Content Publication<br />Booking Traffic<br />.com<br /><br /><br />Mobile<br />Web facing systems<br />
  29. 29. Key Benefits of a Distributed ApproachFree marketers from IT, and IT from content.<br />Clear separation between business and marketing functions<br />Faster time to market<br />Provides control for local affiliates<br />Ability to plug and play technologies<br />
  30. 30. How to Link New Sites?How and when you link is critical to initial success.<br />Build a local presence first<br />Use PR & Social to drive links from high value local sources<br />If you have link from your other sites, use no follow from for first 3-6 months<br />
  31. 31. Don’t Cross the SignalsIf you over link from other cc TLDs, you risk cluttering the picture. <br /><br /><br />
  32. 32. A Final Recap for SuccessIt takes more than just a dream to have success<br />Markets are local<br />Consider language & culture<br />Use cc TLDs where possible<br />Create a flexible marketing friendly architecture<br />Be prepared to invest for the future<br />
  33. 33. The world is within your reach.<br />
  34. 34. ThanksTom PetryshenTwitter: @petryshenEmail:<br />