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International Search Engine Advertising Won't Stay Inexpensive

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-10-04

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American companies that strike gold with U.S. pay-for-placement search engines such as Overture and Google can now easily expand their market reach.

According to one Internet expert, advertising overseas is currently inexpensive and easy but it won't stay that way for long.

Catherine Seda, author of "Search Engine Advertising, Buying Your Way to the Top to Increase Sales" (New Riders Publishing 2004), says that limited competition is keeping ad costs low. On Overture for example, Seda notes that the number one advertiser's maximum bid is currently $3.00 per click for the keyword "laptop" while the same term for the number one spot is 0.27 pounds Sterling per click on Espotting, a European-focused search engine.

"Overture did have more searches for that keyword than Espotting in one month," notes Seda. "But Overture's bid price is more than several times that of Espotting's. This is just one example where the cost of attracting qualified site visitors is far less overseas."

"Unfortunately," Seda continues, "there are already keywords nearly equal in bid price. However, it may take a good while before bidding competition on international search engines rivals that on American ones."

Seda writes that making international search engine marketing easier is "the handful of U.S. search engines that are expanding their reach into foreign countries, allowing American-based companies to easily market overseas by extending their keyword buy through U.S. channels."

Advertisers comfortable with the Overture or Google pay-for-placement program can use the international sites of these same engines. For example, German consumers may use http://www.overture.de or http://www.google.de, or, they might use a domestic search engine or local content site where the search results are actually provided by Overture or Google Germany.

"Now is a good time to test international search marketing," suggests Seda. "Experienced U.S. advertisers can jump in without major frustration or expense."

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