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Trend goes to local searching in Europe?

     
5:08 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So how high is the percentage of Google searches restricted to local language for you? I see it rising in Germany, up to 60+%...

Searches restricted to results from country (not available for all local Google's) looks also up, 2-5%.

Note: local engines and portals are on local language per default, so we don't have to take them into account here

8:54 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I see it rising in Germany, up to 60+%...

hm - where are you finding that figure available?
9:03 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Just from my logs, Louponne, that's why I'm asking.
In fact I was talking to 2 rather occasional searchers today, who claimed they restrict to local language always, which prompted me to take a look at my logs.
9:22 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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hm - how can you tell from your logs whether people have restricted to language/country-based?

I've just acquired FastStats - I wonder whether that prog can "pull" that information out of the logs?

9:45 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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lr%3Dlang_cc # for language filter 
lr=&cr=countryCC # for country filter

i.e.
meta=lr%3Dlang_fr
lr=&cr=countryFR
for french language results and results from France.

9:57 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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oh, well, I guess FastStats won't be able to figure that out all by itself then - do you use your own tools to do stats on that sort of thing?
9:59 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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normal search:
[google.de...]
search with german results only:
[google.de...]
I don't know a stats programs that differs between them so looking into your logs should help.
10:16 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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ok, just did a quick spot-check on a site that's getting about 500 visitors/day. Site is in French & English (index page in French), hosted on server in France. Local language is French, local country is France.

restricted to local language: 12%
resrticted to local country: 3%

So much less than you're seeing.

11:09 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>much less
Thanks, that's why I'm asking for different views.
I was thinking about different percentages for phrases which are unique to a language as opposed to phrases shared between languages, like names of places or brandnames for example.
But I don't see a clear pattern there.

Perhaps it's a german thing?

Just checked another site:
67% language restricted searches, 20% (!) country restricted searches.

<---goes back to see if the method is at fault...

4:58 am on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This would only work for terms that you're in the exact same position for (e.g. #1), whether users search German-language sites or the world. Otherwise all you're seeing is that your site ranks much better when non-German sites are excluded.
7:22 am on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Quick look through one month at a German-language .at site:

.de

lr = 12%

.at

lr = 6%
cr = 16%

.ch

lr = 14%

Are Austrians deliberately excluding German sites (which would make some sense)? (Physical product.)

I find the most interesting idea about heini's stats is whether people are starting to use language- and especially country-only search as an exclusionary tactic to rid themselves of reams of similar generic sites in the SERPs.

8:51 am on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>I find the most interesting idea about heini's stats is whether people are starting to use language- and especially country- only search as an exclusionary tactic to rid themselves of reams of similar generic sites in the SERPs.

That would be an explanation.

Building keyword and links maps from single user's searches would be one of the most fascinating things to look at (and I bet the top dogs do such things in beta already). However I think most people search for the same or very similar things most of the time. They are simply not interested in exploring the vast depths of the web, they want 2 things:
- Sites they are already familiar with
- The right sites
Any prefiltering cutting down on the number of results returned AND bringing results closer at home might be seen as a good thing.

The interesting thing is those extraordinarily high percentages for filtered searches I'm seeing are from informational sites as well as shopping sites.
So the idea that people tend to filter for local sites when searching for shopping sites doesn't appear to be the main factor.

Another suggestion for filter behaviour is that people use it for second or third tries, i.e. first search unrestricted, then filter down when not satisfied. My stats however tell a different story. Filtering for local results seems to be the first choice for many users, if not default setting.

Similar with filtering dependant on keywords. I see queries filtered for local results which would clearly bring up local language results anyway, as those searchterms are unique in that language.

10:16 am on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The interesting thing is those extraordinarily high percentages for filtered searches I'm seeing are from informational sites as well as shopping sites.

There are an awful lot of generic informational sites out there these days (with more to come from the Adsense influence).

Personal story: I visited Chamonix recently and wanted to find some specific information about accommodation and resort services beforehand.

As a searcher, what was my method?

1. Try to exclude generic travel affiliate sites
2. Try to exclude non-French resort information sites

Now the argument always is that this kind of thing doesn't count as we are "experienced searchers". But Google and other search engines have been in the "public domain" for a while now and people aren't generally stupid in the long term.

As another side point, a free copy of the biggest Austrian internet magazine popped through the letterbox yesterday. One of the main articles in it: 33 Profi Such-Tricks, detailing a number of "advanced search" methods, using cache, internet archive, etc, etc. This is a mainstream magazine taken by definite non-web-professionals and illustrates, IMO, how a more sophisticated view of search is spreading out into the mainstream web public.

3:17 pm on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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To reiterate my point, statistics based on overall referrals from Google are totally meaningless.

Heini, why don't you do a comparison of some important keyphrases that you rank equally well for in general and German-only searches, and let us know what you find? I'd do it myself but I don't have any regional sites.

3:50 pm on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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To reiterate my point, statistics based on overall referrals from Google are totally meaningless.

Indeed. That was why the example I gave was taken from a site which is #1 in all Googles listed in the post - whether general, language or country is used.

(Edit added for clarification: It is effectively a 3-page site optimised for one phrase and variants.)

3:56 pm on Oct 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>rank equally well for in general and German- only searches
95% of the phrases in the logs I was looking at are german phrases, which you don't find in any other language. Serps therefore are nearly 100% german language pages anyway.
Which reinforces my suggestion that users have set their Google on local searches per default.