Google recently released its 2011 Zeitgeist highlighting how and what the world searched in 2011. The search company also published a ranking of the fastest rising searches in every country, including China.
1. Japan Earthquake 日本地震 (Rìběn dìzhèn)
One of the most powerful earthquakes in the world that hit the Japanese Pacific coast in March 2011 and resulted in massive damage.
2. Naked Wedding Era 裸婚时代 (Luǒ hūn shídài)
Very popular Chinese TV show that talks about a young couple who is in love and wants to get married despite all their financial problems. In extension, the term “naked wedding” refers to a marriage without material prerequisites such as flat, car, and fancy wedding ceremony.
3. Discount 折扣 (Zhékòu)
The third most-searched term in Google in 2011, mainly because Chinese Internet users are fond of finding good deals online.
4. Libya 利比亚 (Lìbǐyǎ)
Following the revolutions in the Arab countries known as the “Arab Spring”, Libya underwent a civil war in 2011 that led to the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s political regime.
5. Kung Fu Panda 功夫熊猫 (Gōngfu xióngmāo)
American computer-animated action comedy movie very appreciated by the Chinese people. The sequel to the 2008 edition was released in 2011 and starred many famous actors including Jackie Chan.
Apple is one of the most appreciated brand in China, so are the second generation of the US company’s tablet computer.
7. Android 安卓 (Ān zhuō)
Though Google as a search engine has difficulties to succeed in China, its OS for mobile devices is quite popular in China’s smartphones market.
8. Transformers 变形金刚 (Biànxíng jīngāng)
Another blockbuster movie appears in the most search keywords on Google China in 2011 (the third edition was released last summer).
The most popular Instant Messaging (IM) in China for iOS such as iPad, Iphone and iPodTouch.
10. Weixin 微信 (Wēi xìn)
A more and more popular mobile instant messaging (similar to Whatsapp in the West) by Tencent, a Chinese company well-known for its QQ IM.
What other Chinese keywords did you search in 2011?
A recent study shows that the proportion of short keywords, that is to say web search queries containing one or two words, has significantly increased from September to October 2011.
Users Go for One and Two-Word Search
According to the search intelligence firm Hitwise, one-word search queries have increased from 26.45% of all US queries in September to 27.23% in October.
Their monthly barometer highlighted that two-word keywords also registered a slight rise from 23.66% to 23.85%.
However, all longer web search queries – from three to eight words – decreased over the same period.
Below is the percentage of US clicks by number of keywords:
The study is based on a sample of 10 million US Internet users.
Why Shorter Keywords?
One may therefore wonder why users type shorter keywords in the search engines.
In my opinion, and as I wrote previously, this progression of short search queries may be linked to « Google Instant Search » and « Google Suggest ».
Indeed, these Google tools had an impact on how users search since they deliver results faster and in larger quantity (results are displayed as users type their search query).
From an SEO point of view, we already emphasized that this change would make titles and meta description important elements in the way those would largely influence user’s willingness to click the search result snippet.
Google Doesn’t Decline in China Only
In addition, the study by Hitwise provides data about search engine market in the US.
Since 2010, Google has been losing market share against Baidu in China. The same trend occurs in the US where Bing has been earning market share little by little. However, Google still largely remains the most used search engine in the US.
According to Hitwise, Google is used for 2 out of 3 search queries in the US but its market share went from 66.12% to 65.38%.
While the number of search queries done on Bing increased from 28.07% to 28.62%, given all queries done on Yahoo portal are powered by Microsoft’s search engine.
Below is the search engine market share in the US (in searches):
Did you change the way you search with Google Instant? Do you now search shorter keywords?
When you plan your SEO strategy (as well as your SEM strategy), you must think of researching keywords. Keyword research is actually a crucial step in the SEO process, that is why you shouldn't neglect it.
What is keyword research? Keyword research is about striving to understand and analyze what keywords people interested in your products and/or services look for on the search engines.
Knowing what your target market search is really important in terms of SEO. You must therefore adapt your content to what your potential customers look for, so your website is more relevant for them and search engines. For instance, that is why your web pages must contain the keywords your users search for.
Google Trends is a free and simple keyword research tool that enables you to have insights into search patterns. You can get search volume and traffic estimates for keywords and websites by time range and location, and compare several search terms at the same time. The graph shows you the evolution between the multiple search terms over a defined period of time.
Google Insights for Search is actually a more advanced mode of Google Trends. You can compare search volume patterns across specific categories, regions, time ranges and properties. Note that you don't see absolute search volume but normalized date on a scale up to 100.
In our example, you can see that in 2011 the keyword “SEO services” was actually more searched worldwide than “Web Design Services”, and “Web Development Services”. For “SEM services”, Google doesn’t have enough data to give estimates.
Another very popular and free SEO tool by Google, AdWords keyword tool helps you to find keyword ideas based on some words/phrases, web pages, and/or specific category you enter. You can filter your search by location, language, and device. This tool is really helpful as it estimates the local and global monthly searches for your keywords, as well as the competition.
4. Baidu Index
For your Chinese keyword research, Baidu Index is a tool you should have a look at, especially if your target market is China. You can check user and media interest rends for a specific keyword, find related keywords as well as rising searches, and focus on a certain region, or type of users (gender, age, education, industry). If you want to optimize your website for China's leading search engine, you can also check out Baidu SEO Audit Tool.
Wordtracker SEO Blogger is a very useful Firefox extension that enables you to find the most popular keywords for your subject without leaving your blog editing screen. The tool works with any blog publishing software, so you can do your keyword research and optimize your posts as you write. Wordtracker also developed a premium Keyword Research tool.
Microsoft Advertising Intelligence, formerly known as adCenter Add-in for Excel Beta, is a free keyword research and optimization tool that operates in Microsoft Office Excel. It provides keyword expansion and research that helps you build out lists of suggested keywords and develop informed keyword strategies based on Bing and MSN query data such as volume, relevance, demography and location.
The SEO for Chrome extensions provides easy access to Search Engine Optimization Tools that can help you with keyword research, competitive analysis, and also other useful information such as backlinks, pageranks and many more. You can find more SEO extensions for Chrome or try our Baidu SEO tool for Chrome.
8. SEO Fuze
The SEO Fuze Extension is very similar to the above Chrome extension and offers the same kinds of features.
KGen (Keyword Generator) is a Firefox add-on that allows you to check keyword density on visited web pages. KGen retrieves every words of a page and lets you know how many time they appears and their weight in the page and their average position in the web page. KGen's also a good tool to view your competitors keyword strategy. Check out other SEO add-ons for Firefox.
10. Good Keywords
Good Keywords is a free SEO tool that helps you research and manage your keywords. The new version features search volume statistics.
11. SEM Rush
SEM Rush provides you with a free professional SEO/SEM tool to get information about keywords (volume, CPC, competition, results, trends, etc.) on two major search engines, namely Google and Bing. The premium version gives you access to more detailed statistics and features.
Keyword Selector Tool allows you to search for most popular search queries. It also displays the percentage of overall search queries that contain the keyword you enter.
Bing gives a lot more weight to keywords in urls than google.
How do I know that
I tested it!Actually, I was comparing bing and google with this simple yet efficient tool, and this is how I got the first impression that bing answers were containing more often the keyword in the website url than on google.
So here’s the test I did
I searched for 50 random (almost) keywords, and I took for each query the first 50 responses of bing and the first 50 responses of google. Which means I checked :
50(keywords) x 50(responses) x 2 (search engines : google and bing) = 5000 links
Don’t worry, I wrote a script for that ;o)
Then I checked if the keyword was (or wasn’t) in the URL of the websites.
Example : I search for the keyword “paris”
So I count this :
I don’t count that :
And here’s what I found :
|For Bing : 86,52% of the first 50 websites contained the keyword in the URL.|
|For Google : 71,16% of the first 50 websites contained the keyword in the URL.|
and don't tell me that this was really dependent on the keywords in my list of 50 keywords.Why? Because bing was showing more websites (with the keyword in the url) than google .... 92% of the time.
So, yes, putting the keywords in the url is really important for BOTH. But it seems that it’s a lot more important for the new Microsoft search engine “Bing”.
So if your strategy is focusing on bing for some niche keyword/market, don’t even think of not putting the keywords in your url or domain name.
Well, I think it’s a bad idea to put such a big weight on the keywords in the url, they should focus more on the content. Besides…this is gonna give more weight to hundred of thousands of parked domains… because domain resellers usually buy domains with keywords in them...
thankful happy I spent the day programming that script, and then sharing this information with you, I wouldn't mind you talk about it, vote for it on digg (check on the right side bar) or link back to here ;o)
Here are the stats for those of you who want all the figures :
|keywords||nb of sites with the keyword in the url for google||nb of sites with the keyword in the url for bing|
|Average number of sites with the keyword in url (among the first 50)||35,58||43,26|
|total sites with keywords (of the 2500 checked)||1779||2163|
|total sites checked||2500||2500|
|% of sites among the 50 firsts with the keyword in the url||71,16%||86,52%|
put google trends widget directly on your website, so that people can compare keywords search trends within your site. It's easy and efficient, you want an example, just check this :
so if you want the same widget on your website, get the google trends widget
How to use Chinese urls, or pinyin url? In this post you will learn SEO tips and discover very useful tools to automatically transliterate your chinese title into pinyin and make your internal urls search engine friendly !
First let's go through some basics and theory.
1- SEO friendly URL
You certainly already heard that urls are taken into consideration by search engines like baidu or google in the page ranking. A page with keywords in it's url would have a better ranking than the same one without keywords. That's why a classic first step of SEO experts consist in enhancing urls of a website.
Let say you are in charge of a wine e-business, a good SEO compliant url for your product would look like :
This way search engines will be able to associate keywords "red wine", france, bordeaux, fronsac, chateau richelieu, to your page.
2- URL Encoding
According to the RFC1738 (http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1738.txt), urls should only use ASCII character-set.
(http://www.w3schools.com/TAGS/ref_ascii.asp). It's a bit annoying cause this set is very basic, it contains only 128 characters : alpha-numeric characters and some special char.
But since the ASCII character-set is used to send information between computers on the Internet, urls have to comply this rule too.
To ensure we use the right encoding, webmasters use url encoding functions when they create internet pages and when they display urls.
URL encoding replaces none or unsafe ASCII characters specified in the rfc, with "%" followed by some hexadecimal digits corresponding to the character values in the ISO-8859-1 character-set.
Let see what we get :
"vins français" will be alter to "vins+fran%E7ais"
...not very user or SEO friendly
"葡萄酒" turns to "%26%2333889%3B%26%2333796%3B%26%2337202%3B"
hmm... not user friendly and certainly not SEO friendly
So how to deal with that ?
How to enhance your url for SEO when you are using a non ASCII character set language (like french or chinese for example !)
...or read the next post, I will explain in details how to automatically transliterate your chinese page title into pinyin and use it for your urls with CMS drupal. so, stay tuned...