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Asia and Pacific Region Forum

Japanese directories.
Getting a fix on domain names and submission guidelines.

 8:54 am on Apr 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

I was wondering how to get a fix on the Japanese directory situation. A client of mine was asking about it. Maybe it has already been answered, but I like to get up to speed, so here it goes:

- domain extensions, do you have to have a .co.jp domain to get listed at fx. Yahoo Japan or is it "enough" to have pages in Japanese?

- do you have to have local representation. A business adress etc.?

- how about the SE's. Do they prefer/require co.jp domains or just the content on a .com?

I guess I need some help on this one as my Japanese is a bit rusty. Check my profile if you can help.




 2:41 am on Apr 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

do you have to have a .co.jp domain to get listed at fx. Yahoo Japan
No. a .com will suffice. JPNIC's archaic domain rules only allowed one domain name per company, so .co.jp names are not the most popular. Most Japanese found out that it was cheaper and easier to get .com, .net and .org names. JPNIC is trying to reverse this trend by offering top level .jp domain names.
Some of the characteristics of general-use .jp domain names are as follows: (1) Registration is open to individuals as well as organizations, without regard to the functional domain name (.co or .ne, for example); (2) One organization or individual can register multiple general-use .jp domain names; (3) Unrestricted transfer is permitted between organizations and individuals that satisfy the registration requirements; (4) General-use .jp domain names can be registered as second-level domain (SLD) names; and (5) Domain names written in Japanese (maximum of 15 Kanji or kana characters of double-byte code) will be introduced.

As a requirement for registering a general-use .jp domain name, the applicant must be an organization or individual with a verifiable residential, shop or office address in Japan.

Source: [url=www.nikkeibp.asiabiztech.com/]AsiaBizTech[/url]
- do you have to have local representation. A business address etc.?
For the .jp names you do, but there are companies like [url=www.japanregistry.com]Japan Registry[/url] that will obtain a Japanese business license for you.

- how about the SE's.
I've seen some preference on [url=www.goo.ne.jp]Goo[/url], but that doesn't hold much weight since Yahoo [url=www.webmasterworld.com/forum32/150.htm]dumped them[/url] for Google. Most of the other engines seem to be looking for Japanese content. For example, [url=www.infoseek.co.jp]Infoseek Japan[/url] won't let you enter a page that doesn't have Japanese content. Overall I'd say the difficulty and expense of obtaining a .jp name imposed by JPNIC has forced most SEs to forego the local domain name preference.

Hope that helps.


 8:39 am on Apr 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks! It helps a lot. It was just the info I was looking for.

Several european engines and directories prefer or favor local domain extensions, and I had a feeling this was also the case in Japan. Glad it was not.

Kind of difficult to get a fix on the SERP's when you can't even read the page, so the info is much appreciated.


 11:50 pm on Apr 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

I have several number one and high ranking pages in all the major Japanese search engines with a .com.au domain.

If you use the following META tag in all your Japanese pages it could help in getting indexed with Japanese SE's.

<META HTTP-EQUIV="content-type" CONTENT="text/html;charset=x-sjis">

[url=www.webmasterworld.com/forum21/193.htm]It appeared to help me[/url]


 9:39 am on Apr 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

I think you're quite right.

I've been promoting non-english domains primary in Europe, and I've always followed these rules-of-thumb:

If you have the local domain extension - great!
If not, always use the apropriate Meta languange/character tag. Not all engines support it, but those who do can determine the language with ease.

I was wondering about the Asian engines - is it worth the effort to create localized content and SEO for a non-asian based company? Is the volume of searches large enough?

The population is very large, and more and more people are getting online, so I would guess so, but it would be great with some hands on experience :)


 10:56 am on Apr 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

Gorufu: "If you use the following META tag in all your Japanese pages it could help in getting indexed with Japanese SE's.

<META HTTP-EQUIV="content-type" CONTENT="text/html;charset=x-sjis">"

I've just received the Japanese translation of our site...we were going to produce it using utf-8 (unicode)...is this going to be a problem for either Japanese users or search engines?


 1:03 pm on Apr 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

Eric, I will have a look at your Japanese pages if you post or send me a sticky email with the URL's.

We use Japanese Windows for all our Japanese translations because we found compatibility problems with Netscape Navigator and some email programs when using utf-8 (unicode) or Microsoft's GlobalIME.

Japanese GlobalIME pages usually appear as question marks in Netscape and mail was corrupted when retrieved through Netscape. I can fix the question mark problem but the email was a disaster.

utf-8 has similar problems with Netscape where the text appears as small squares. There appears to be no problems displaying Japanese text with IE, but the source code was not Japanese text and it was illegible in Notepad.

Also there could be some problems getting utf-8 and GlobalIME pages indexed with SE's that are using Linux/Apache servers. They won't find any meaningful Japanese text.

If you use Japanese GlobalIME to send email with Outlook Express and the person receiving the email does not use Outlook Express, the mail will be corrupted. One of my customers found out the hard way.

We found these problems when using Japanese Windows 95 so there could be problems for some Japanese users.

I have not tested with Window 98/2000 but the results will probably be the same.

Bill, I will be interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences.


 1:22 pm on Apr 27, 2001 (gmt 0)


I was wondering about the Asian engines - is it worth the effort to create localized content and SEO for a non-asian based company? Is the volume of searches large enough?

I'm not sure what you mean by localized content. It is very important to have content relating to the products you are marketing. Some local content from the area that you are marketing can be beneficial in attracting visitors.

SEO is important for sites in any language.

If you have a product or something that Japanese people are interested in the volume of referals can be very large. I market golf tours and receive more visitors from Japan (41%) than any other country including the US. Also over 80% of my golf bookings are from Japanese customers.


 2:47 pm on Apr 28, 2001 (gmt 0)


I was thinking of this: If you're marketing a global product accessible to "everybody" - would it generally be worth the effort creating pages in Japanese for SEO purposes?

I was looking for some experience in this market, and you answered my question perfectly.

The population is hudge and I could imagine a lot of referals with good SEO - just needed a little confimation. Thanks.


 8:45 am on May 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

...it's Golden Week over here, I'm not supposed to be working...;)

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=x-sjis">
Gotta have it. That or shift_jis those seem to be the most standard as far as web page display is concerned.

I don't remember where I heard this, but I recall there being big problems with pages encoded x-euc-jp and early versions of Internet Explorer. I never had much luck getting consistent performance with iso-2022-jp in both Netscape and IE either. UTF-8 is known to be problematic with Netscape and other software, so it is conspicuously absent from a lot of the Japanese HTML guides I've seen. There are more charsets you can use like ms_Kanji, csShiftJIS and others, but I really haven't played around with them.

[big]x-sjis[/big] seems to be the safest way to go for Japanese SEO or web site design.


 10:09 am on May 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

OK bill...so I need to replace utf-8 with shift-jis

as a non-Japanese speaker in the UK how do I best do this starting from a translated word document and pdf file? or from a utf-8 web page?


 10:39 am on May 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

If I'm on an English OS, like Windows 98, I've got my [url=www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/features/ime.asp]GlobalIME[/url] set up so that I can see the Japanese characters. (Windows 2000 has IME 2000 which is a lot better) This will add some Japanese fonts to your system like MS Gothic.

Open your Japanese document and copy the text you want to use. Then open your HTML in NotePad and paste the text into the appropriate spot. To view the Japanese in NotePad you may have to set the font to MS Gothic and make sure that the Script is set to Japanese.

Add the
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=x-sjis">
to the head of the file and that should do it.

There may be some gotchas in here that I haven't considered. Like Gorufu I really don't do much Japanese content creation on an English OS. I've got Japanese native systems to work on as well.

Does that help?


 9:38 am on May 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

thanks bill

that about covers it...I guess if I put a button on both the x-sjis and utf-8 pages to swap to the other then it covers just about every eventuality :)

so...it's Russian next...at least with that I can read the characters

I'll hopefully have the x-sjis versions done by next week and can get back to the subject of submitting to SEs :)

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