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November 5, 2008

SEM Synergy Extras 11/05/2008

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We all know that the U.S. market isn’t the only one around. The Internet has given more and more businesses the opportunity to expand their services to the world. This means more and more businesses are learning that their American business can’t be transported to other countries without a well-planned international strategy that takes into account the practical (currency, for instance) and cultural realities (such as language variations) of doing business worldwide. Today on SEM Synergy, we discuss some of the considerations of international search marketing.

Copyright Issues

While we talked about Internet user populations, Internet penetration, site architecture solutions, regional search engines, and so on, one point that was not mentioned was copyright issues. To the average person, copyright law is perplexing enough, but then consider the complex workings of international copyright “law” and you may find yourself in a whole new boat of confusion. As Sarah Bird explains on the SEOmoz Blog, “there is no such thing as international copyright law”. Rather, a number of international treaties and conventions are in place to help copyright holders enforce their rights in other countries. Resources about international copyright protections, such as this publication from the
United States Copyright Office
, are important if you find your copyright has been violated abroad.

International Internet User Statistics

There are many things to take into account when deciding what country to expand your company’s services to. Those which aim to grow their business through their online offerings should take a special interest in the online population of perspective countries. The things they should be looking for include: the number of Internet users in different regions, the penetration percentage and the rate of growth are statistics that may affect whether or not doing business in a country makes sense. Of course, the numbers and rates of growth change rapidly and different methods of measurement are used, so be sure you’re using the most current data available.

More International SEM Resources

From country code top level domains to currency exchange rates, U.S. businesses entering another country’s market will refer to a number of trusted resources to help them develop their international business. One good international marketing resource is a compilation of links to consumer and business affairs bureaus, business directories and global trade services organized by country or region. Yahoo brings together its sponsored search offerings from across the globe, along with reporting the search engine’s reach and search partners by country. And over the years, the Bruce Clay blog has gained a number of international search marketing posts, including conference coverage of presentations by international search marketing experts, that boast a great deal of information.

I’d like to extend a special thank you to my guest Motoko Hunt, Japanese search marketing strategist and founder of AJPR. In anticipation of SES Chicago, we talked about her presentation, Search Around the World, and the face of search engine marketing in Japan. Thanks, Motoko!

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