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I paid for the main page and 2 other pages to be included in Inktomi via Lycos Insite (in English).
The main page for that same phrase ranks about 12 in MSN.com - not bad for a start - but is absolutely nowhere in MSN.es, the Spanish regional version.
My theories were the following:
1. Because the site is US hosted (yep, it was cheaper) Inktomi thinks it isn't Spanish.
2. One of those rarely used meta-tags might be needed to tell Inktomi how to index it.
3. Because I registered it through Insite, Inktomi thinks it's just for English consumption
1. I pinged the first 10 results to get IP addresses, and found 7 to be Spain hosted and 3 US hosted.
2. I reviewed source code for all of them and found neither meta data nor content to tell Inktomi anything about the site geography
3. I sent a mail to Lycos who replied with the following:
"Your subscription with Lycos InSite Search Engine Submission
will ensure rapid inclusion to the indices, Fast and/or Inktomi, which
powers the web results of these search engines.
This means your listing will be available as a search result to each
associated engine, however, how it is displayed, or if it is displayed
is determined by each individual search engine algorithm."
Why I bother I don't know.
In desperation, I have placed the word "Espaņa" strategically about the site, but if anyone has a more scientific explanation of what's going on and how the problem might be solved, I'd be forever indebted.
The best way to get around it is to use the TLD for the country you wish to target. Sometimes this still messes up, for example, sites with a country TLD may get a boost in the US results and be demoted in their local version of MSN if they have a LookSmart listing. As the INK URL is a L$.com feed listing it falsely identifies the site as a US one.
Currently I am having to promote 2 sites for each international campaign, a .com for the US/WorldWide market and a country TLD domain for the UK. A real pain as I have to make 2 different sites with different content (to prevent duplicate filtering) targeting the same phrases for the 2 different markets just for INK. This, of course, gives me a second bite of the cherry in Google (no - I'm not going exclude one of them through robots.txt - they have different content), but it is extra work I shouldn't have to do (and don't really want to do). But currently appears to be the only way around the problem.
I've suggested to INK and PT that they bring an additional PFI model allowing you to pay extra to appear in markets other than the one that your TLD indicates. This would prevent people like me having to pay copywriters to produce new websites that are (despite their elegant appearance) nothing more really than duplicate content sites set up to target different geographical areas when, previously, just one would do fine.
Do you think getting more US sites to link will help change the classification? Of course getting more links never hurts, but is there an easier way to solve this problem?