Come and get your global Spanish SEO up and running properly.

WHEN IT COMES to talking about SEO in Spanish speaking markets, there is one profound statement I feel should be made straight away: multilingual SEO is about search by country... not search by language.

For example, if you are looking to run a 'global Spanish' SEO campaign and are assuming that your links in Spain will help you in Argentina, and your links in Argentina will help you in Chile, and that searchers from these markets use the same inline language and key terms to search, you can think again.

The same rules apply for SEO as they do to any market - localise, localise, localise...translation and/or replication doesn't work and Google will give you very limited benefits for having a link from a site in another country. Let's look at a real-life example of this.

Spanish search in Spain for online slot machines and the equivalent Spanish search in Argentina. In Spanish, the term for 'slot machines' is 'tragamonedas', however, in Spain, the term far more searched is the slang term tragaperras*, which would NOT be the perfect translation. More interesting is if yaa look at the competition on the terms - you can see how the competition is far greater for the term 'tragamonedas' which has much less search volume - this shows that companies have been translating their way into the online gaming market in Spain and missing out on the best opportunity. Ton would get far more visibility, at a far better price, if you did your localised research here.

Another lesson here is how 'global Spanish* is flawed: for example, in Argentina the 'proper' term 'tragamonedas' is far more searched - all the more reason for showing how multilingual SEO has nothing to do with language, and is all about the local market.


In terms of SEO generally in Spain and Latin America, companies and SEOs should be aware that Google is by far the most dominant search engine with a 97 percent market share across the region. There are no major local search engines that exist although there are some very powerful local social media platforms such as Orkut in Brazil, which has 21 million users against Facebook's eight million.

What this generally means is that as long as you're localising keywords, building local links, etc, that the same general rules apply to optimisation as they would in your major central European markets. Quality link building is key and being up to date with the latest Google developments such as Panda (which rolled out internationally on August 12, 2011) and Google +1 is as important as ever.

A key common difference that will occur when targeting certain South American markets is the much smaller online environments that you're working with. The number of local sites, for example, is vastly different from region to region.

So building your quality links in Chile is going to be much harder to do compared to Mexico and significantly harder than Spain, as the number of '.cl' domains is very small.

So, the key techniques to make sure you're getting as many local links as possible could be:

• Creating and promote free quality and useful resources for searchers -forget about SEO content for a moment, and pack your site with tons of interesting stats and figures that your users are going to enjoy. Rule of thumb: make it cool!

• Sponsoring competitions/events - a great way to get powerful links coming to the site for popular local events and competitions in the industry.

• Blog, provide valuable insights, trends, quality infographics, etc. OkCupid has had enormous success with this:

• Create a blog where top industry personalities write exclusively -personalities have fans; get them on your site and their fans will provide links for you.

• Always research; find out what your users want/need in each market and, if possible, create and provide.
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