SEO in Japan

April 7, 2009

As some readers of this blog may know, I write a blog in Japanese in addition to this one. This newzjapan blog is a good place to get things off my chest and write about things that interest me or get under my skin.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is basically making your website appealing to search engines. I am in no way an expert in this… if I were more of you would be reading this blog, but I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can in the last few months.

Much of the literature on the internet in English focuses on doing SEO for Google. Using keywords properly, not overdoing things and ending up looking like a spam site, and getting useful targeted links.

My site in Japanese has been getting more and more visitors each month, and I was happy with the progress until I made a realization…

my Google and my Yahoo! Japan stats are bass ackwards from how they should be.

The fact is that to a certain extent Japan is kind of the bizarro world of search engines because Yahoo! Japan has the largest share of search traffic by far.

Although Google is making gains here, by being the default search engine on AU and Docomo cell phones for example, Yahoo! Japan still runs the show.

Part of the reason may be the continued dominance of Explorer over Firefox here (yes, you read that right… this is the bizarro world of internet browsers as well), maybe Yahoo beats Google in Japan because of its deep roots, but that’s not what we are writing about now.

I realized that my Japanese language blog had more visitors from Google than from Yahoo! Japan.

If Yahoo Japan has a larger market share, then logically my Japanese blog should have more Yahoo visitors than Google visitors. The fact that most of my visitors come to me through Google shows that I have not properly done my SEO for the Japanese market.

The hard thing about learning is that whereas there is a huge amount of free advice about SEO available in English… there is very little useful information for SEO Japan (at least that I’ve been able to find).

In this newzjapan blog, I’ll try to share whatever I learn about SEO for Japanese language sites… hopefully it’ll be of use to someone.

Here’s what I’ve got after some very shallow research into the matter:

You can request that Yahoo crawl your site for free here… they offer no guarantees and say it may take up to a few weeks for sites to be listed. You first have to login to Yahoo! Japan, then you can choose to submit your URL (the top one) or a Feed (the bottom one).

Yahoo! Japan Crawler Request

Some of what I’ve read indicates that it’s better to submit to Yahoo! Japan categories directly from the link on the category page, and I’ll post something about this once I’ve done it myself.

I’ll do a little more research and hopefully be able to share something new today or tomorrow! I’ll but this in a category called “SEO for Japan” just in case somebody wants to follow this thread.

If anyone has some info or experience to share, any comments or questions are welcome.