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Unfortunately, GoogleJapan is not so strong without YahooJapan. I personally would like to see them of equal strength.What makes you think that?
Last November there was an interview [webmasterworld.com] with Norio Murakami (President of Google Japan) in which he replied to the question "How is Google doing in Japan? "
Well, we've been here since 2001. Currently, 75% of search activities in Japan end up with the Google engine. When we complete a tie-up with the NTT group on Dec 1, maybe it'll be 90%. The majority of searches still go through our partners such as Nifty, Biglobe, Yahoo, Excite, etc.
Google will still have a nice market share in Japan even if Yahoo! Japan (which is for some part owned by Softbank [webmasterworld.com]) drops Google.
Lastly, I hope YahooJapan gets rid of those categories that clutter up their SEPRs.
Yes, Google Japan has become the Inktomi of yesteryear. They power a lot of portal searches in addition to Yahoo. At the time of that interview they may have had an overwhelming market-share of searches. However, if they lose Yahoo I wonder what portion of the market they'd be left with.
For all the logs I've seen in Japan, Yahoo provides more traffic than Google, in most cases at least 2:1 except for very technical topics on some few occasions.
Yahoo is definitely the stronger brand in Japan.
<added>this new Digest view looks cluttered to me. Some Japanese SEO boards are saying that this will be the death knell for Yahoo...I highly doubt that. Things still seem to be settling.
For my Japanese sites, the results are both good and bad. The increase in categories before the regular SERP's has put my sites further down. However, my main site is still ranking number one after the categories, just where I was on Google. My other site came up some but it is pretty much the same as on Google. Since I optimize my English and Japanese sites the same way, I find that I rank just about the same on both Yahoos as I do on both Googles. For me, both search engines work about the same.
My main site has over 1,000 pages on Google and I find it it also has about that many pages on the new YahooJapan engine. Other than the flood of categories, Yahoo seems to work about the same as Google. I wish they would get rid of those stupid categories. They clutter up the SERPs in my openion.
I will have a look the server logs tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how this change will affect sales. As far as today is concerned, sales were about same as always.
Japanese SEO boardsSome of the posters on some SEO BBS sites were complaining about the SERPS early on. They were saying that Yahoo's layout kills natural SEO because of the categories cluttering things up. I guess they weren't doing as well as they were in the Google SERPs ;) Other than the categories the new SERPs don't look all that bad to me. I'm seeing pretty relevant results for the searches I normally do. I think some people were hoping that Yahoo Japan would bury the categories when they switched over to Inktomi.
So then is the progression: leaving the "category" search as the default, and then switching over to "page" as the default in a few months?Not sure about that. Yahoo Japan has a bit of autonomy. They've followed the .com pattern with other areas but haven't shown much inclination to change this area. Maybe they're still making a good profit on the directory listings. You would think that this would be a great time to switch over to new SERPs if they were going to do so.
english translation of the official press releaseI've looked around to see if anything has showed up in the English press, but haven't seen anything yet. Since this thread is on the front page now there's bound to be a news agency that will pick it up. You could make use of any number of online machine translation services for free if you just want the gist of the release. AltaVista's Babel comes to mind...
Not only is Yahoo Japan dropping Google from their search engine, starting yesterday, the Japanese portal began having all of its SERP ads served by Overture.
SearchEngineJournal reports that previously, Yahoo Japan search results featured ads served by other search companies, with Overture ads mixed. Now Yahoo Japan will be Overture only.
If you see any decent articles about this switch in English let me know. There's a lot about this in Japanese.