SEO Practices followed around the world

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Being an SEO or an SEO agency, the most important concern is to work on the strategies for the websites across various countries. Sometimes, they often don’t take up a project or are unable to deliver the expected results because of their lack of understanding about the different cultures, languages, and search engine dominance across those various regions.

If you are among those SEOs, here I have gathered SEO practises followed around the world. So, next time when you get a non-English SEO project, you are highly confident to take up the same and deliver results. So, let’s get started.

SEO practise in Europe

Okay, so before I move on to talk about the SEO practises to be followed for Europe, I would like to share a few things which every search marketer should know about Europe:

  • Europe has 50 countries
  • There are 23 official languages of the European countries that are the part of the European Union only
  • There are many other languages of the European countries except for the European Union
  • More than 100 dialect languages are only spoken in Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg)
  • Apart from language differences, there are cultural differences that affect the users’ behavior offline as well as online

These things about Europe make it extremely challenging for the SEO marketers to consider all of these countries in one group and target them entirely. Also, an article on SearchEngineLand explains how languages, dialects, and countries become a huge issue when optimizing websites for Europe.

Search Engines in Europe

When planning for SEO practises for Europe, it becomes mandatory to know which search engines are dominating in Europe. According to an article by Matthew Capala, Yandex leads the market share in Russia making Google the 2nd best search engine with 45% market share. But, as per Statista, here is Google’s search engine dominance-

This clearly means that while working on SEO strategy for Europe, Google and Yandex both should be considered.

SEO strategy for Europe

Here, the following things need to considered when creating SEO strategy and optimizing sites for Europe-

  • Hreflang remains the most important part while working with multilingual websites.
  • Everything from complexities of the multilingual websites to content needs to be carefully worked upon
  • You can check out the guidelines from Google for handling localized versions
  • Here is in-depth guidance by Aleyda Solis on Moz on implementing the Hreflang appropriately and without any errors
  • When working with WordPress websites, you can also have a look at the hreflang guidance by Yoast.

SEO practise in Australia

What is the difference between creating an SEO strategy for the U.S, U.K, and Australia? Technically speaking, there is no difference because all of these three regions are English speaking ones. The most important concern is- Australians do not have a particular preference for either British English or American English. Though Australian English emerged from British English, there are certain words or phrases that Australian prefers to be used in their day-to-day lives. So, search marketers need to be utterly careful while picking up the right keywords to optimize a website for the Australian audience.

Search Engines in Australia

Let’s have a look at the search engine market share in Australia from StatCounter-

According to this chart, Google has 94.4% of market share followed by Bing (3.58%), MSN (0.72%), DuckDuckGo (0.54%), Yahoo! (0.52%), and Baidu (0.08%) making Google the most dominant search engine in Australia.

SEO strategy for Australia

Consider the following things while creating an SEO strategy for the Australian websites or audiences:

  • Make sure you use Hreflang because many businesses have multiple iterations of an Australian website. So, whether the website has ccTLD, ensure you implement Hreflangs.
  • Work on writing effective content and here is a small article that explains how to write Australian English content.
  • For keyword research, use the keyword research tools from SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, and Wordstream.
  • Use meta content-language tags and XDefault tags

SEO practise in China

Creating an SEO strategy for Chinese websites is the most difficult thing to do for the search marketers across the world. The challenges that most SEOs face while doing SEO for a Chinese website-

  1. Language
  2. Search Engine

When dealing with the language, search marketers need to use language translators such as Google Translate in order to understand what the website is all about. Coming to another challenge which is the search engine. China’s internet population has grown to more than 800 million, reports Statista.

With such a huge Internet population, China has literally blocked Google as a search engine since the year 2010. So, let’s check out which search engines are trending in China.

Search Engines in China

China’s most popular search engine is Baidu and let’s check out what is the market share of all the search engines in China by StatCounter-

The search engine market share of Baidu is 70.3%, Shenma 15.62%, Sogou 4.74%, Haosou 4.54%, Google 2.57%, and Bing 2.01%. Google is also planning to enter China. But, until then, you need to create an SEO strategy that is effective for Chinese search engines.

SEO strategy for China

Before I discuss the SEO strategy for China, let’s discuss how optimizing a website for Baidu is different than optimizing for Google.

  • Baidu does not include a new website until a deep examination on the website content while Google is faster.
  • Baidu works on strict censorship rules and only indexes the websites that adhere to those rules while Google shows anything and everything on the world wide web except for the ads that are illegal.
  • Baidu gives high preference for external links that have relevance as well as a huge number of external links while Google checks the relevance between the external links and content.
  • Baidu gives ranking preferences to the top level page in the hierarchy on websites which is why Chinese website homepages have too much content. Google prefers the first level page to rank higher.
  • There is nothing like Hreflang for Baidu and the website should avoid having flash and javascript.
  • Baidu considers meta descriptions and meta keywords as the ranking factors
  • Baidu gives different ranking weight to canonicals, page titles, metadata, and H1s.

Here is an SEO strategy for China:

  • Avoid Flash and JavaScript in your website
  • Have a Chinese domain
  • Add keywords naturally in Title, meta description, image ALT attributes
  • Make sure your H1 tag matches with your title tag
  • Keep posting new content on your website and strictly avoid duplicate content
  • Use appropriate keywords while doing internal linking
  • Optimize your website for page loading speed
  • Ensure your website uses guidelines offered by the Baidu Webmaster Tools

For detailed technical and on-page SEO guide for Baidu, check out this guide by Simon Lesser.

SEO practise in Russia

Russia is considered to be the world’s largest nation according to Wikipedia and its official language is Russian. You would be surprised to know that Russian is the eight-most spoken language in the world by a number of native speakers also by Wikipedia. So, just like China, there are no language differences which needs to be taken care of. But, there is a definitely a change of how you optimize a website for Russian businesses. What is that change? Let’s figure out now.

Search Engines in Russia

The change is in the search engine. Yes, just like China, Russia has less of Google. It’s Yandex search engine ruling in the Russian Federation.

To learn why Yandex is beating Google in Russia, here is a video recently shared by CNBC. Also, Yandex filed against Google for giving the search engine pre-installed in the Android phones. Due to this, Google started giving a ‘choice of window’ where the user is given a choice to select their own search engine as default. In short, Yandex is dominating the search engine market in Russia.

SEO strategy for Russia

When it comes to preparing the SEO strategy for Russian websites, the technical SEO remains similar to Baidu. The only difference is that Yandex gives a huge importance to the good quality content. Yandex also has strict algorithms that ban a website for the over usage of the keywords.

Let’s compare Yandex with Google for optimizing websites for SEO:

  • Yandex uses algorithms that are not similar to Google’s standard algorithms
  • This is the reason why it becomes much easier to rank a website for Yandex compared to Google
  • A website can have longer page titles to rank on Yandex
  • Yandex uses meta keywords tag in which you can have around 4 to 5 highly relevant keywords
  • You can put keywords in the URL as Yandex prefers it
  • Yandex takes more time to index a website but once it indexes an appropriately optimized website has huge benefits

So, when optimizing a Russian website, make sure you take care of everything from technical SEO to on-page SEO. It is easier to rank on Yandex compared to Google.

Here are a few guides that would be helpful for you to optimize a website for Yandex:

  • Yandex SEO Guide by Search Engine Journal
  • Yandex SEO Tips by Link Assistant

SEO practise in Japan

Japan is an island country in East Asia where Japanese is their national language. So, when considering the language while optimizing the website for SEO, you need to consider the four writing styles- Latin, Kanjo, Hirangana, and Katakana. So, writing a content, meta tags, title tags, heading tags, etc. is not as easy as just translating it to the Japanese language. You need to get it done with the help of a Japanese writer because of the language differences it has compared to English. Now, let’s check out which search engines leads in Japan.

Search Engines in Japan

The search engine market share in Japan by StatCounter is as below:

74.4% of search engine market share is with Google followed by Yahoo! with 22.36% which gives Google a good competition. Well, though Google has huge market share, Yahoo! Japan still remains popular among the Japanese.  That means you cannot avoid optimizing a website for even Yahoo! Japan.

SEO Strategy for Japan

So, now while creating an SEO strategy for Japan, you need to make sure you consider the guidelines of Yahoo! Japan as well.

Here is an SEO strategy for optimizing a website for both- Google & Yahoo! Japan:

  • Technical SEO remains the same for both the search engines as Yahoo! uses Google’s backend algorithm
  • For on-page SEO you need to consider looking at both- Google search console and Yahoo webmaster tools
  • For on-page SEO you need to consider using more of Latin words while optimizing a website for Japan

Here are a few resources that provide good knowledge of doing SEO for Japan:

  • SEO guide for Japan
  • Yahoo SEO optimization

SEO around the world

Every person looking for information come to the search engines. But, how a particular search engine brings the right information to the user differs across the world is what you need to know.

So, before you begin to create an SEO strategy for any particular country, you need to know the following three things-

  • The language being spoken
  • The search engine dominance
  • The search behaviors and user expectation

So, make sure you keep all these SEO practises in mind while crafting SEO strategies for the respective countries mentioned above and become an SEO rockstar for your clients.

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