Highlights from International Search Summit – NYC 2012

I was fortunate to attend ISS this past week in NYC,  It was my first ISS session and there were many interesting sessions.

Here are just a few highlights, the full write up from the morning session can be found on State of Search.

SMX International Search Summit

A Checklist for International Search Success  @andyatkinskruge @webcertain

Andy started the day with a checklist for those entering the international market. Here are some of the top tips for international search success:

1. Research and Planning

  • This is one of the most important step of all the 10.
  • Content, Connections and Compatibility and culture,
  •  Keywords are very important
  • Keywords cannot always be translated, there are some terms that are not present in every language.  Using Google image search helps those to see what the term means in that language.  For example “casseroles” means food but in French it is the pans you cook in.

2. Competitive Review

  • It is important to look at the keywords your competitors are targeting
  • What is their online presence? It is better than yours and why?
  • They may have a better link profile and are using social media

3. Global Roll-Out Plan

  • Decide on the method of the market to expand into
  • Choose the market based on many different factors.

4. Content Strategy

  •  In this field, content is  critical especially after the Panda and Penguin update.
  • Panda is about the quality of content
  •  In the international field, trying to create content of value is where the cultural obstacles can have a negative effect.

 5. Domain strategy, geotargeting

 6. Landing pages

 7. Trustworthiness checks have been carried out

8. Link building

  •  This does not work without good content
  • It is important to have local links
  • Page Rank is different  in different markets
  • Geo-selectors are also important

9. An appropriate local presence

  • What most people do is get every page links to the country and language home page.  But it should link to equivalent content for selected region.

10. Keep Google in Perspective

  •  Yandex and Baidu are looking at internationalizing their operations
  • Baidu has recently launched services in Egypt, opened offices in South America
  •  Now mobile really important Expedia expects to have 50% of its bookings via mobile in 18 months

Global Search Engine Headlines

We all know that Google isnt the only player in international search. In this presentation, Gemma Birch (@GemmaBirch) from WebCertain reviewed the key developments across the major global search engines and their implications for international marketers. SEO Jo and Gemma


  • Yandex launched in Turkey a year ago.
  • It is building a strong presence, it is joining forces with mynet which has 17million users
  • Instead of going for global approach, going for specific market



  • Baido took on South America, Egypt and Thailand



  • Google is doing better in Russia than in China
  • It has done an offline marketing campaign
  • Android and chrome browser

For all the search engines, being presence in not just one market, is important. For growth Baidu and Yandex know they have to expand into other markets.

Social Media

  • Google has Google+, not doing as well as Google would have hoped
  • With Google+ comes Search + Your World
  • That is def still important, optimizing social presence.
  • Baidu – they tried to launch their own microblog, but then didn’t work that well so they formed a partnership
  • Yandexs’ Social or “People” Search – Twitter agrees Partnership with Yandex
  • Baidu – launches landmark licensed social music service.  Ting is a platform is a legal platform. Monetising this through advertising.


  • Google places became Google + Local.
  • The knowledge graph feeds from the G+ Business Pages
  • Yandex Partners with Apple for Maps
  • Yandex with be the map provider for Apple devices going forward
  • Shows good partnership with Apple.
  • Baidu updates smartphone Maps  – they introduce new features discount store


  • Yandex has ben offering taxi booking service, first through mobile and then now through desktop
  • Baidu released mobile browser – they hope 80% share of android users will use this
  • Baidu released their own smartphone – $160 so very cheap
  • Many Chinese users do not have access to internet only through mobile.

Shop on Yandex

  • Yandex launches their own browser –  gone live October 1st
  • It is a reaction to chrome.  (30% + of Russian users are using Chrome)
  • Yandex wants to counteract this
  • Yandex also opened their on Android App Store October 1st


  • Constant innovation
  • All search engines are going in same direction
  • Looking into what the search engines are doing is great way help shape your strategy
  • All areas become increasingly interconnected, requiring holistic approach to online marketing

Searching for Hispanics in the US and Abroad

Hamlet Bastia (@hamletbatista) presented some effective SEO tactics for helping existing English sites enter the highly coveted Hispanic market and succeed.

  • Around 10% of US searches are done in Spanish
  • 86% of online Hispanics are broadband users
  • 78% if Hispanics have used a search engine to learn more about something they saw on TV
  • 93% of Hispanics use mobile phone regularly.
  • 84% of US Hispanics use Search Engines for Information

Speakers at ISS

What is difference between general market and Hispanics?

Three key differences:

  • Who we are
  • How we identify ourselves
  • How we think of ourselves when we consume media

–       Language is a key point of segmentation

–       The Hispanic audience is more likely to own a smart phone that the general population and 70% are using their smartphones to search

Principles SEO 

  • Get found
  • Get indexed
  • Get ranked
  • Make money

Pilars of SEO

  •  Keywords
  • Pages
  • Links
  • Context is Key

3 Specific things work for Hispanics

1. Spanish language searches

  • Find out how people are talking about your product
  • Make sure the translator knows the market they are working in.
  • Wedding cake is Pastel de Boda in Spanish but in the Dominican Republic and in Puerto Rico it is Bizocho de Boda.
  • So you have to be v careful will messanging
  • The word “Gugaua”  in Chile it means baby, but in the Dominican Republic, it means bus
  • Make sure your translator knows the nuanaces


2) Smartphone searches

  • When you search for mobile SEO, not all the pages are optimised
  • On the desktop page, add rel=alternative, pointing to the corresponding desktop URL
  • Can be done in the HTML or XML sitemaps

3) Offline marketing Triggers searches

  • There is a lot in Latin America, they watch a lot of tv, soap operas
  • While they are watching, they will search for it online.
  • You have to make sure your product is present

The afternoon sessions were just as informative, read the highlights from the day one of ISS on State of Search.


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