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Getting Listed In German Search Engines

Garrett French
Staff Writer
Published: 2004-02-04

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How does one get listed in Google.de? If you're in the US Google will you automatically show up in Google.de? What other German search engines or directories are there for sites who want German-speaking visitors?

Boiling with questions, I contacted Mike Grehan, the European Managing Director for iProspect. He spoke at the Chicago Search Engine Strategies Organic session with Brett Tabke.

Here's our q&a. If you have more questions, please post them and I'll make sure we get some answers.

WPN: If a US website has a section in German, and they can find that site in Google.com, will Google.de be able to find those pages?

iProspect: If the pages on the US site in German language are important enough to attract quality linkage, then most certainly they would be found in google.de. It should be remembered though, that google.de is servicing German language users in Austria, Luxembourg and even Belgium too. So there will be variations in use of language, dialect etc., to consider.

The same can be said in return. If a German site has English language pages which are important enough to attract quality linkage then they can be found searching on the google.com site.

Generally speaking, it's not a question of where the pages are hosted. It's about how important that content is in the community it exists in.

WPN: Do you know if Google's algorithm is the same in their foreign language sites? Did you notice a change during the Florida update on the foreign Googles?

iProspect: Google's algorithm is Google's algorithm. If it changes across the data centres, then it changes across the regional sites.

WPN: Does Google have different bots for different languages?

iProspect: Crawlers don't understand languages. They can detect character sets and indexers can spot language patterns. But the direct answer is that Google has a fleet of crawlers bringing down 15 million pages (or more) each day. Those pages are in foreign languages, jargon etc. etc. all of which are classified and categorised, with language being one criterion.

WPN: What are the three major non-us search engines/directories in Germany?

iProspect: The only crawler based country specific search engine in Germany is fireball.de

The directory sites are supported by the majors such as Yahoo, Open Directory as well as some smaller independent vertical directories.

There are regional crawler based sites supported by the majors, again such as Google, Alta Vista, Yahoo etc.

WPN: What recommendations would you give companies seeking German markets through Google.de?

iProspect: Obviously, having pages in the native language of the target group is of primary importance. And if you want to benefit from a "Germany only" search at Google.de for instance, then having a de domain will help, as those searches are biased towards the domain extension.

However, there are many, many German language sites which are hosted on com and other domains.

The other consideration would simply be that, if you're expecting a lot of country specific traffic, then it's wise to host your site on a server in that country for load balance purposes.

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About the Author:
Garrett French is the editor of iEntry's eBusiness channel. You can talk to him directly at WebProWorld, the eBusiness Community Forum.

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