Americans Don’t Understand International SEO

April 22, 2008 5 By Tad Reeves

I’ve come to a conclusion, based on the number of responses (0) to various posts I’ve put up on the subject of International SEO, that Americans don’t know jack about the subject, and probably don’t have much of a reason (usually) to care.

I did get some enlightened help on one particular SEO message board I was on, but it didn’t look like these people were Americans.  Most of my fellow countrymen, by survey, can’t find the city of Budapest on a map, and have never heard of places like Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.  It’s unfortunate, since I’d be willing to wager that just about anyone in Dubai or Kuala Lumpur could point to New York or Los Angeles on a map. 

And they probably speak English, too.  Hmph.  Figures.  Apparently 90% of the Internet is written in English.

But here’s what I’m trying to accomplish with foreign SEO, and perhaps some other enlightened individual can assist. 

(and this is example text only, but is what I’m trying to put together)

Best Practices:
Encoding:  Set to UTF-8 and language set to local iso language code
HTML Titles:  Use foreign chars, UTF-8 encoding, title case
Meta Keywords: Don’t worry about translating these, not used by search engines
Meta Description: Custom-written SERP-friendly text written and translated
Page Filename:  For Japanese, Chinese, use UTF-8 local chars in links, and decoded ASCII filenames.  For Russian, Greek and Hebrew, use whatever is easiest to program.  For en_US and western european languages, use ASCII filenames in links and filenames, with transliterated “oe”, etc equivalents for accented characters

…or something like this.  Some stable guidelines like that.

Anyone with any bright ideas?

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