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Motoko Hunt on Search Engine Optimization in Japan  (View post)

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

Monday, July 28, 2008
14 years ago4,480 views

Nice Article!

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Since Japanese characters are double byte characters, if you don’t adjust the font size on Japanese pages, it would appear way too big.

That doesn't make sense – the number of bytes has no relation to character (font) size. Maybe browsers use bigger fonts for CJK by default, because they are so complex scripts, that without enlarging they would be unreadable?

Mel Carson [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Domo Arigato Motoko-san! ;-)

Japanese man [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

She is liar.

Because Yahoo Japan search share is 60% and Google is 30%.
Other 10% is other engines(MSN, goo, Ask...etc).
Not 50/50.

Comscore data is below.


What's data source she said?

Motoko Hunt [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

Hi Marcin,

It's true that the Japanese translation does not change the font size the length of the text is typically longer or shorter depending on how that message needs to be written in Japanese. By nature the “space” is “double” because it takes up two (digitial) character spaces for each Japanese character. You may not have accounted for the expansion or contraction of the text post translation which will cause the readability to look odd. For example, in English a heading may fit on a single line but becomes 2 lines after it's translated into Japanese.

Motoko Hunt [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

Hi Japanese Man,

Those Comscore data are the property scores, and not the search volume. I got the search volume data from Google and Yahoo. Also note that search on many popular portals such as goo, Biglobe and @nifty are all powered by Google.

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Great interview. Motoko Hunt, thank you very much for your time and answering these questions!

Philipp, I'd love to see more interviews like this with search folks from different countries.

Phio inMalibu [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Hi Motoko,

Thanks so much for this informative and information-packed article.

I am even further interested in speaking to you regarding the development and usage of mobile communication in Japan.

I am not a language expert, but have been very interested in the increased usage and registration of IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names) – especially in the .com and .jp arena.

I'm interested in how these IDN domains will be accessed from mobile devices (direct type in) and how search engines will find these more localized websites.

It has been a long time that English has dominated the internet, and most people in Japan for years have been typing-in English Domain names. Of course IDNs have been available for .com and .jp during the last 7 years, and soon Japan will get it's own native character cctld extension. It seems to be an issue of national pride in China and Russia to get their own native cctld extension.

   Are the Japanese people and business owners also looking forward to the use of IDNs? Or will it take some time before they will be accepted on a wide scale in Japan?

Also, during the past, there has been a lack of browser support for using IDNs, and now with the huge number of downloads of Firefox 3 in Japan, support for IDNs is available.

As an example 足つぼマッサージ.com and 足つぼマッサージ.jp.
I would like to develop them into reflexology websites for the future. =)

Best Regards,


Motoko Hunt [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

Hi Phio,

As you pointed out, Japanese domain has been available for years, but hadn't taken off. Having to install plug-ins probably is one of the main reasons for that. However, as you may know, some sites have been known for using it such as (価格) and post office (郵便局). It's available for mobile, too, but again, how well it works depends on the browser that each provider uses.

In my opinion, the use of punycode would make things easier, and encourage more site owners to obtain Japanese domain, if they want to only target Japanese audiences. But, I think it will take some time to gain the popularity in Japan.

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