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I am thinking of proposing this for a client. Probably registering domain in the various european markets as well.
1) Is having a domain with the country code in it essential (thinking here of co.uk, .de and .fr to start - possibly scandanavian countries as well). Having had a look, it certainly appears to be so.
2) Realistically, these translated pages will be one page satellite sites in their various regions with links through to the main sites. Are there any limitations/restrictions in the engines regarding this profile
3) What are the popular engines;
Thanks for the reference NFFC in the last post.Will definitely use it.
BUT.. we all know that their is a distinction between published "rah rah" stats and the real world.
SO! this is a call to you guys who follow the spiders and referers over there and get bread on the table doing it. Whats the list for the big drivers of traffic?
There it is. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
If you want a handle on the situation i Norway try a search in Alta Vista for the word Norge (Norway in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish) and note the proportion of .com and .no domains on the first five to ten result pages.
For Denmark search for Danmark and for Finland search for Suomi. In Denmark most sites should be in the .dk domain though. I am not sure about the situation in .no and .fi
Generally, you are on the right track though. In each European country, the leading of the purely national search engines are usually the second or third most popular after the national versions of the big ones such as Yahoo and AltaVista and they will either list their own national domain only or rank them higher.
I have noticed that several big Swedish companies with sites in 3-6 European languages register the different languages under a national domain, and the English version under .com or even in some cases under .co.uk
You can do this in several countries, without having a business registered (a.o. Germany) but not in all.
As to search engines: www.evreka.com for Sweden, www.kvasir.dk for Denmark, www.kvasir.no for Norway and www.kvasir.fi for Finland. These are the leading locals and have the same owner - Scandinavia Online.
This has got to change, and will change, it's just a question of how long it takes.
Keep your eye on the country-specific domains, if you are targeting business in that sector. register them if you have an interest. it'll help out when the big engines continue to filter results.
Also: Thank you Brett for misspelling Sweden: Sweeden. Extrapolating from the first version of your own all-super-report-2000 meta spy file, I figure that 869 persons do the same in SE:s every day. That's 317.000 potential visitors every year for a page that has Sweeden in the title. Now there is finally a name to represent this faceless mass.
Tip: One of my clients owns an URL formed like this:
frequentkeyword-histypeofbusiness.de It has seven #1 and 11 other page one rankings on German searchengines for the very common keyword. Including ALL of Germany's top SE:s AND AltaVista.com AND Yahoo.de !!! Remember to separate the two words with a dash.
And for chrissake make sure the page you serve is in perfect German or you'll have WWIII on your hands. Lots of translators around though, who can help you out. If you cannot receive or reply to e-mail in German, make sure to mention this on the page with a suitably humble apology, like "Due to the inferiority of the local school system and our own intellectual limitations, we are unable to reply to e-mail in your language. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this might cause you."
TopDog is handy tool for SE analysis and submission. They have a built in list of currently 232 SE:s, most of them international. 32 of these are German, but only a few of them are really important locally, such as www.fireball.de
Perhaps someone else has more to offer on this important topic. The claim by a.o. Web Position that their short list of major league search engines covers more than 90% of all SE traffic, may be true from an American perspective, but is totally misledaing from an international. As I have said before: a purely local engine (often owned by the leading local ISP) is usually the number three SE in its own country.
It has great page one listings in French engines, so the observation by Makemetop seems to work elsewhere too.
Also: Most international SE:s will accept sites in the local domain only, simply becuase they cannot handle large indexes. The better ones, such as Fireball, will accept both local domain sites AND local language sites whatever the domain. So those who want great penetration in a European country should try to get both a local domain address and a dot com in the local language.
The European versions of major league US SE:s appear to rank local domains higher than dot coms in the language and dot coms in the language higher than other sites for a given keyword. This should be kept in mind. Unfortunately many European countries require a local business to accept registrations.