Today let's have a look at the web design of popular websites and let's focus on the main differences between their global and Chinese version.
Here is the comparison of some well-known sites and their Chinese version:
There are some significative differences in web design between amazon.com and amazon.cn.
As you can see below, the Chinese site displays a complete menu (from top search to comment space) at the top of the page in addition to another focused on the catalogue on the left like in the global version.
Some functionnalities differ and are not located at the same position in both sites. For example, the cart icon isn't integrated in the search box but displayed in the top menu on amazon.cn.
Plus, you can notice that the color used on Amazon China's website is a light blue shading compared to a plain dark blue on the worldwide website. You can also see that joyo.com's logo is still displayed on the webpage (Amazon acquired the Chinese bookstore joyo.com in 2004).
Let's now compare the design of Google's websites. As you know, google.cn now redirects to google.com.hk after Google decided in March 2010 to stop censoring its search results in China.
The main web design difference between Google.com and Google.com.hk consists of the numerous icons displayed under the search box in the Hongkongese version that enable users to access directly Google's services.
No difference in the web design of Apple's global and Chinese websites. Check it out yourself:
Yahoo! China's homepage might look similar to the global page: they both display a large block of news content in the middle of their homepage. However, the menu on the left of the page offers more functionnalities on yahoo.com than on yahoo.cn.
There are also differencies in the other blocks (for example 'trending now' vs. access to email on the right).
You can also compare the length of the two versions. Yahoo! China's homepage is very long compared to global's (I cut the homepage screenshot though to enable you to read the end of this post without scrolling down too much...).
The main difference between ebay.com and ebay.cn is the position of the search box within the site. On the global version, the search box is located just under the logo at the top of the home page whereas it is more down in the Chinese website. The organization of the blocks also largely differs.
When I look at MSN's global and Chinese websites, I can see many differences in the homepage pages: not the same structure, not the same colors. However, there is always the bing search box at the top. The global version looks much lighter than its Chinese equivalent to me.
The web design of Microsoft's global website homepage differs from the Chinese site only by the color: sky blue to light blue shading vs. orange to white shading for the Chinese version. Do you have any idea why they chose these colors ? I don't know but microsoft.fr has the same web design as Microsoft China's website...
As you can see above, some companies decided to have the same website design as their global website and only translate content for their Chinese version. Others display a different web design and modify their website structure.
The challenge for global websites is of course to strengthen their brand image and adapt China's market at the same time.
Japan's online mall giant Rakuten acquires French number one online eCommerce platform PriceMinister for about 200 million euros.
Rakuten buys France's biggest eCommerce platform
Rakuten which is Japan’s biggest online shopping mall operator will acquire the entire stake in PriceMinister which is France's biggest online shopping platform in terms of monthly visitors.
The 200 million euro acquisition is expected to be finalized in July.
Launched in 2000, PriceMinister had 10 million registered members and revenue of 40 million euros in 2009. The Paris-based company also provides services in the UK and Spain.
Rakuten wants to be a global company
With this acquisition, Rakuten enters the European eCommerce market after it recently bought US online retailer Buy.com for approximatively the same price ($250M).
In addition, the Chinese online shopping market is also part of Rakuten's plans: the Japanese company established a joint venture with the Chinese search engine Baidu to launch an eCommerce platform in China.
Moreover, Rakuten also signed a deal with Indonesian media conglomerate PT Global Mediacom to launch a local eCommerce network through a joint-venture in the second half of 2010.
With these several acquisitions and partnerships, the Japenese company clearly wants to expand internationally since Japan's eCommerce market is mature.
World eCommerce market on the move
At the same time, Rakuten's rivals, China's largest e-retailer Taobao and Yahoo! Japan, have joined forces to launch the world's largest cross-border e-Commerce platform.
World e-Commerce market is undergoing moves, especially in Asia where growth is driven by countries such as China (see our previous post about statistics of China's e-Commerce).
US actors like Ebay and Amazon have been rather discrete till now but they will have to react if they want to be still parts of the worldwide eCommerce race.
Amazon China seo audit example.
Of course, I am not going to teach amazon how to succeed online. Their success story is famous, and the kindle is just one more proof that they can still grow and do good online.
But it doesn’t mean that all they do is right, and yes, an SEO audit would definitely help them grow their targeted traffic, and thus their turn-over, online.
So, I checked their website, and here’s what I found :
1) Amazon.cn has no RSS or Atom feed! Actually many website’s would bring them backlinks just by reading their feeds and posting links. And search engines rank higher website with RSS feeds. By the way if you want to subscribe to this blog, our feed is here.
2) On many pages, their meta keywords are just too general, like “DVD” or “MP3”!
3) They should use meta keywords and description on every page, not only some of them (http://www.amazon.cn/static/lll_081223_newyear.asp/479-6678015-2391038?u... )
4) They have up to 52 images on their pages, which is TOO much, but that is not the worst thing, many of them don’t have “alt” attribute, which means that search engines just don’t know what they are all about. (alt attribute help blinds and search engines understand what the image is about)
5) Proper image naming : the names of these images is also important, so please don’t name them like (lt_pcee803805.jpg when the image is actually Microsoft office) http://images.amazon.cn/l/lt_pcee803805.jpg . If you want clients to find your products, make search engines understand where and what they are all about.
6) 3044 errors and 1915 warnings for the coding! Well, the least we can say is that they really really don’t follow the coding standards for html… they should work on that to improve their rankings.
7) There is no sitemap for the website… they should add one
8) Too many links. It’s commonly said not to go over 100 links in your home page, which is already too much. But here we have … Found 399 urls of which 369 are unique. 399 links, that is way too much.
9) No url rewriting. And among these 399, none has a proper naming with keywords in urls! That is insane. They are losing web traffic (and money) right now!
10) Please amazon china, avoid having broken links in general, and on the home page in particular. For example: try to click on the EC trust china at the bottom of amazon china home page… the link is broken, that doesn’t help me trust them ;o)
Well, I am not going further, I am not doing keywords research analysis, and no competition analysis, no rankings analysis either. I would need 5 days to do a complete SEO Audit.
I know nobody is perfect, not even our website, but that leaves room for improvment.
I wrote this article to give you some seo tips, and to show you why it’s worth having an SEO Audit or a website audit. I think amazon china should definitely contact us and buy THEM seo services. feel free to contact us here