Global Search Engine Marketing [Book Review]

global-search-engine-marketing-bookGlobal Search Engine Marketing” is a unique technical resource (though the approach is similar to travel guides, which is an apt comparison). In reading this book I was reminded of a chapter on international monitoring in my own book on social media analytics, where I took the position that you needed a modern “Rosetta Stone” to listen to the “Voice of the World”, and understand what it meant.

Anne F. Kennedy and Kristian Mar Hauksson, the authors of “Global Search Engine Marketing”, lay the foundation for a broad understanding of how the online marketing world operates in all the major regions of the world, as well as the special considerations one needs to take in each place.

Successful global marketers must know the details and habits of their target audiences (including their languages and lexicons), or else the marketing efforts may not succeed.

While reading this book, I enjoyed the learning a little bit about what makes each country and region unique; those touches helped make what could have been dry material into something more engaging.

The problems of global search engine optimization and social analytics are very similar (as if they were two sides of the same coin); knowing the intricacies of how to communicate with international audiences are part of mastering what and how to listen to what your audience(s) are saying (the lexicon, language support, localization issues) in those same countries, so this book was an instant hit for me, as no one has ever provided a guide to the world quite like this one.

For example, in Chapter 8 it is mentioned that in South Korea it is normal to see 30-40 search results from a typical search (in most search engines). Also, separating paid and organic results (an issue for the United States) isn’t as important to Koreans.

The idea of what is acceptable and good Internet practice seems to vary quite a bit from country to country, which encourages us to re-examine out assumptions and marketing strategies as we roll them out internationally.

Kennedy and Mar Hauksson point out that using the same marketing strategies in other countries that you use in your own land will negatively impact your marketing abroad; and, you may not even be able to use the same analytics. For example, due to privacy and political issues some regions like China, Google’s own hosted servers have been moved out of the country, leading to slower and more inaccurate results (Chapter 3, page 45) which may impact marketing efforts there; Baidu statistics are recommended as an alternative.

The information about each country was invaluable, especially in what works for the Internet population of a specific region, and what doesn’t. “Global Search Engine Marketing” is strong with its technical and cultural coverage of major regions and languages, and even if the idea of the book is larger than the content they had to fit into each chapter, the authors provided an invaluable service not just to the veteran search marketers, but to the social analytics professionals, who also seek to understand the world and its various voices.

The information in Appendix A and B are also invaluable to search professionals. Global information on Google’s search interfaces in each country of the world are supplied in Appendix B that are great to have on hand. Appendix A lists most of the must read/must have resources in search engine optimization and search engine marketing, and very helpful to have on hand.

If anything, by writing the book on “Global Search Engine Marketing”, the authors have made us all much more aware of how we need to intelligently employ local resources in each country we seek to seriously be a presence in.

The idea that globalization meant that we can globally push out our messaging from one place, without listening and understanding the nuances of each region, is constantly and successfully debunked. I recommend buying the book to learn about the world and each region of it.

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