Right off the bat, you'll need someone who can read and write in Japanese. At least a little.
Most Japanese sites don't make concessions to non-Japanese visitors...but then, how many American sites have Japanese versions? ;-)
Are you looking at individual-run sites, or are these corporate? If they are run by individuals, then you need to look for a BBS - you can almost always get in touch with someone through their message board. BBSs are really popular on Japanese sites.
If you're talking corporate, then you have a *much* more complex process ahead of you. There are not doors to get in contact with the proper people, unless you know someone who can intermediate between you and the company. It sounds silly just for a link, but trust me. :-)
Thank you for the tip.
In our staff we have a Japanese person.
We are looking mainly for corporate sites.
> There are not doors to get in contact with the proper people, unless you know someone who can intermediate between you and the company >
We know this culture: all the companies interested in the Japanese market say that any businessman need a minimum of three meetings just to be "considered". Japanese need a "familiar" face before doing business.
I hope that there is here a Japanese SEO that can suggest the right strategy.
There seem to be some Japanese SEO who hang at the Asia and Pacific Region Thread [webmasterworld.com...]
Maybe you can scan there and stickymail one of them!
your site has only to be that cool, that it's linked automatically by the webmaster there ;). that are my own experiences.
If we're talking popular/grassroots, site, then I agree. One of my sites had a viral spread last August that got about 3 dozen links in the course of a week.
But a corporate site is different. Think how hard it would be to get CNN to link to you because your site is "cool." :-) Same goes for Fuji TV, or what have you.
care to expand?
I find that a lot of Japanese sites are not made in-house, but by third parties. A lot of companies simply use the same firms that make their printed catalogs. The result is that a lot of corporate sites are cookie-cutter brochure sites. Because of the degree of separation between the people who create the site's content and the people who actually put it online you have a situation where there really isn't a person who would be responsible for putting up links...the site was created by committee.
When I just can't find contact information on a site sometimes a politely worded letter to the PR Department works. They're the ones usually responsible for catalogs and things and a lot of times get the website responsibilities thrust upon them.
Thank you Bill!
This is a good tip. I will keep you informed.
> > "viral spread"
> care to expand?
Basically, someone over in Japan found my site and reported on it on a topical news site. Other news and personal sites picked up on it and the next thing I knew, my normally 2% Japanese visit percentage went up to about 5% for the month.
My site was mentioned or linked on several dozen various sites that I had not previously located in searching my keywords on Google Japan. (For various reasons these sites were practically negatively optimized - some actively don't want to be found unless you already know someone who knows.)
This may not seem like very much impact, but given the incredibly niche market this particular site caters to, it was an amazing jump.
E-mail newsletter subscriptions in Japan are also quite popular, so another way to get yourself in front of the Japanese audience is to find an ad broker who can get you into targeted 'mail-magazines' as they're referred to here. If someone finds your site that way, and you have a useful site, then there is a good chance you could get some viral marketing kick-started like conecticslib did.
I don't know how much time you have to spend on this, Angiolo, but there's a great deal of communication over web-site BBSs on Japanese sites. (Like Guestbooks, but many Japanese site owners use them like forums and respond.)
You may want to locate some related topic grassroots sites and post information about your site - it might get that viral thing happening too.
If it's a tech-y or cultish type topic (say a new high-tech product,) that might even do more good for you in the long run than a corporate link. In fact, it might net you that corporate link, if someone from the company is perusing the other sites and takes notice. that last is a bit of a long shot, but you never know!