In this week’s look at the international news with implications for digital businesses: why professional translators aren’t being replaced by machines any time soon; why Brazil favours yours desktop site regardless of their device; the cost to Google of being locked out of China; the best tools for keyword research in the Russian market; and tips on geo-targeting for increased clickthrough.
Given the uneven quality and poor reputation of machine translation, we imagine that most would consider the jobs of professional translators hardly at risk. Nevertheless, with Google Translate serving over 200 million people daily and 3 million downloads of the Google Android app, a shift in attitudes may not be so far away.
Tech.no’s article asking “Are apps replacing professional translators?” makes some interesting points about where this industry is headed. For instance, it proposes that technical skills will be an important differentiator for professional translators (and, dare we say it, digital agencies) going forward. However, the “small errors can cause big problems” problem of machine translation and the lack of machine understanding of content, colloquialisms and the whole “cultural knowledge” dimension mean that a human touch will be necessary in digital marketing indefinitely.
According to data in a series of polls discussed over at eMarketer, the full version of your site is the version that the majority of Brazilians want to see. 61% of tablet and 42% of smartphone respondents said they preferred to see the full site, and users generally preferred to do their shopping on desktop or laptop PCs. Key reasons included getting a large/clear product image (39%) slow mobile connections (36%) and the difficulty of product comparison on mobile (34%).
In a separate article eMarketer also reveals trends for app activities in Brazil, and compares them to global averages. Music and video apps are particularly regionally popular – 61% enjoy music apps, and 55% enjoy video apps, compared with 55% and 41% among global users respectively. Simultaneously, Brazillians are 6% more likely to be worried that apps would share or steal their personal details, 13% more likely to steal their photos and videos and 7% more likely to believe that apps would share locational information without seeking permission.
Google may have a 54.7% share of global search ad revenue, but it is still locked out of China, leaving Baidu to reap an increase from 6.4% in 2013 to 8.85 in 2015. With Chinese internet penetration at just 46%, current search spend of $14.90 billion is set to grow substantially in coming years – and while Google isn’t exactly in trouble, the fact that Baidu isn’t similarly impeded from competing with Google in the markets it dominates could be an issue in the long term.
Russiansearchtips.com has posted a rather useful look at keyword tools essential for research on Yandex, Russia’s main search engine. A number of tools familiar to SEOs outside of the international SEO umbrella appear in the list – Google’s keyword planner, Ubersuggest and Keywordtool.io. However, while the core functionality of these tools is often best in class, their reliance on Google data is limiting (Google.ru has only around a third of the search market).
The existence of several Yandex products (.Wordstat, .Metrica, .Webmaster) as well as some interesting in-market tools from third parties makes keyword research easier, though it is certainly a varied task. Naturally, the search statistics these tools give you will only get an SEO campaign so far –actual Russian language skills are going to be needed to understand searcher intent and to write copy for adverts and meta descriptions, after all.
Geo-targeted marketing potentially allows businesses to improve clickthrough rates by putting the most relevant content in front of customers – and considering the relative importance of mobile in certain international markets, it’s an important tool for international marketing. Searchengineland.com has a list of 10 practical tips for using geo-location in your campaigns. Key advice includes focussing on venues such as stadiums and airports, geo-fencing based on proximity to retail outlets, and predicting locations based on search history.
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Rosetta stone photo by Flickr user Okko Pyykko.
Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro photo by Flickr user Lima Pix.
Google china photo by Flickr user keso s.
How to pose with a smartphone photo by Flickr user John Ragai.