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Asia and Pacific Region Forum

Japanese Search Engines

 6:49 am on Sep 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm wondering if nobody is concerned about getting Japanese traffic. These people have more money in the bank ( on average ) than Americans.
These people do buy online - books, DVDs, health items. But it seems American webmasters entirely ignore this market.



 9:19 am on Sep 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

The short answer is that there is a huge language/cultural barrier to overcome. Your products and services have to be completely done over into Japanese and then you have to be able to communicate with this market. It's a big investment for many, and frustrating for most, but can be rewarding for those who do it right.

I live and work in Japan so I'm a tad biased...;) I'd be interested to hear what others have to say.


 9:04 pm on Sep 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

well they certainly are active crawlers. I have a Japanese and Taiwan spider onsite almost daily. So far I have never seen a referral from an SE I associated with either name (I checked, these are legit SE's not harvesters) which makes me wonder if:
a) they are just slow to update or
b) they are building an immense index to enter the Google/Inktomi fray to sell results to AOL, Yahoo, etc.


 6:10 pm on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

bobmark -

is your site in japanese (ie. japanese characterset) or english? if the latter, it wont really matter, because 99% of japanese searches are done against native charactersets, which means (a) your content wont match, and (b) you might be crawled, but not even included in the database.

i agree with bill - japanese strategies are tough. it requires an entirely separate service channel to manage content, marketing, and customer service. for most folks, its too much work.

the learning curve is steep, and the costs of doing business can be pretty high (Yahoo Japan and Looksmart Japan are ~$500/per for standard listings, and ~$1500/per competitive category in Yahoo)...

that said, if you can find your niche the rewards can be great.



 2:02 pm on Sep 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I took a look at one of these SE's - openfind - and you can search in english and get results so they do add english language sites to their db. I have no idea how many people using them search in english, however.
Openifind does such extensive and frequent crawling of english languange sites (and for all I know french, spanish, etc) that I really wonder if they have a strategic plan in place to challenge Google & inktomi and sell their index to yahoo, aol etc. If 99% of their searchers use and are looking for sites in an asian language, why index non-Asian sites so extensively?


 8:28 am on Sep 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Openfind is based in Taiwan and there has been a lot of talk about them here [searchengineworld.com]. A lot of people have complained about their spider being too aggressive. I don't really see many referrals from them as I don't have any sites targeting the Taiwan market.
If 99% of their searchers use and are looking for sites in an asian language, why index non-Asian sites so extensively?
Well, they do have a beta site [openfind.com] up in English so they're probably thinking about going after a more global audience at some point. Their results are pretty stale at the moment.

To get back somewhere closer to the topic of this thread ;) there are Japanese search engines that will spider non Japanese content. Why would they or any other non-English SE spider English content? There are probably a lot of different reasons, but one that pops into my mind is that there is a demand for searches in other languages. If they want to serve their customers better the more comprehensive their data is the better. It's very limiting to confine your database to only one language.

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