Website Localization for Japan – Search Ranking
Search results can be quite different when you search in different country, even when you use exactly the same search term. Here are examples of the search results in US vs Japan.
The time is tough, and the budget is shrinking… I understand. But localizing the website into local language is the first step in targeting the foreign countries, especially Japan. It is not just because the average Japanese don’t read/write in English well enough to understand the English content. If your website is not in Japanese, it would have little to no chances of being found in the search results in Japan. It’s that simple.
1. Japanese is the national language in Japan
When Japanese use search engines, it is highly likely that they enter Japanese keywords and phrases written in Japanese characters. If your website doesn’t have the keywords and phrases in Japanese as the searcher entered, your site won’t show up in the search results.
2. Location matters — to the search engines
As you may know, the search engines such as Google and Yahoo favor the web pages closer to the location where the search user is, and the web pages in the language spoken where the search user is. This is true even if the keyword is written in English, or even if it’s a simple model number such as “MSL-47”.