Yahoo Japan Sponsored search Platform launch pushed till October

Yahoo! Japan which has been using the Yahoo! Inc platform Panama will finally migrate to a new system come mid October Yahoo Sponsored Search version 3. The technology backend is a modified version of Google’s own Adwords system but tweaked for Yahoo! Japan’s own requirements. The two company are not merged & will still be competitors in the Japanese market.

Yahoo Japan still dominates the search market but Google is not really far behind. Google Japan has been playing catchup & will carve it’s own niche in future markets especially Youtube, DSP, & Android technology. One problem for Google Japan was that it was often seen in Japan as a non Customer Support company but this year even by visiting the Google office myself I saw they are stepping up adding staff to help smaller companies. This is vital for Japan because Yahoo! Japan has had sales teams coordinating with smaller companies for years. I think this may have been the inspiration for them to launch the みんなのビジネスオンライン service that I discovered by accident.

The New platform will of course have a few changes such as

  • 4 match types instead of 2
  • Account daily spending cap will be eliminated
  • For mobile you may not target each carrier individually.
  • Agencies will have one login for all accounts.
  • Yahoo’s Keyword Suggestion Tool will be updated to include mobile stats

Yahoo! Japan will try to make the migration as simple as possible & will alert customers if there are any issues. Expect not to be able to upload new campaigns, keywords, or copy for about two weeks during the migration.


Google Japan’s みんなのビジネスオンライン Service Screenshots

The Mina no Biz online story deepens. We recently found actual screenshots of the new Google Japan service!!!

Here’s screenshots from Google’s new service. This was the only page I was able to access.
The site will be at which seems to be coming soon but for some reason it was actually fully indexed by Google.

Looks like a good campaign site targeting small business’ in Japan. As someone who runs paid search for clients if Google extends service & support to smaller business in Japan they can increase revenue. Looking forward to the launch.

****** Update Google has pulled the site completely.
I guess they are only human & didn’t realize their own search engine quickly indexed & cached the site because of the sitemap.

Screenshot of Google’s みんなのビジネスオンライン

Google Adwords Editor goes IDN Domain friendly

Google recently updated Adwords editor to version to 9.5.1

One of the greatest change to the appplication is now it allows you to input IDN Domains for the Display URL. If you are unfamiliar with IDN Domains it’s internationalized domain names in native language.

I haven’t tested extensively but I think domains like

海外ホテル.com (international Hotel)
should command a higher CTR which should increase actual conversions to client’s sites.

You still have to comply with Google Adwords policy & the domain & the landing page must match. Some of my clients are testing & using IDN domains based on research I’ve provide for SEO throughout the last 5 years. Now clients will be able to test campaign sites with IDN domains that cater to a specific target. The display URL can be native Japan, Chinese, Russian, Arabic etc but the destination URL must use the punycode version.

Looking forward to seeing good results from this Google, thanx for this.

Google Japan’s Mina No Biz Online – みんなのビジネスオンライン

Google registered a few new domains last month all of the domains refer to the phrase Mina No Biz Online みんなのビジネスオンライン (Everyone’s Business Online).

Perhaps the service will be similar to the US campaign Get Your Business Online. Google has been ramping up staff lately in their still new office in Roppongi Hills. We have no feedback yet on how the GYBO went in the States or other countries.

Yahoo Japan starts to use Google organic search results.

Yahoo Japan has started showing the same organic results as Google Japan.Integrated into the search results are results from Yahoo Answers, Yahoo video, & Yahoo shopping. The paid listings hasn’t been updated yet. At the Yahoo forum for Search Ad Agencies Yahoo Japan stated they would show us a beta preview before the paid listings is switched.

Yahoo Japan & Google after a week

Ok it’s not a week yet but I got a chance to meet up with Yahoo reps this week twice. Since my job is paid search we got a chance to ask our team of reps that come by the office “Ok so what’s going on”.

You can be assured that the systems Yahoo & Google use for advertising will be separate.

Most likely on the outside things will look the same but the core technology backend for Yahoo will change.

The products & services sold by Yahoo & Google will remain seperate.

What exactly will change is not to be determined yet. Mobile search which was mainly built in Japan also has the potential to use the Google technology.

For those of us in Digital & Search Marketing in Tokyo. Most of us love the Yahoo Japan guys. We like Google too, but everyone knows that Yahoo Japan has a great team of diligent hardworking ladies & men that really support agencies to the fullest.  With the companies both in Roppongi now people around town say that both teams might worry about each other selling the same product but the products & services offered are completely different. Google’s team can’t handle servicing the smaller & mid sized business’ in Japan. Yahoo Japan can. It’s just a fact.

Google Japan moving to Roppongi Hills

Google Japan will be moving locations at the end of the month. Currently Google Japan is headquartered in Shibuya in the same building as notable tech companies like Mixi & Omniture (I believe they are both still there). Google will move to a larger location in Roppongi Hills.  Of course during this move we can’t really get a lot of customer support but our SEM campaigns will be fine.

IDN Domains & technology compatibility

IDN Domains & technology compatibility
After reading the post on Outrider Australia’s Blog by Ian Lavelle about IDN Domains I decided to write a post about technology compatibility. His final quote made me realize many might think that these domains are not here yet, or that search technology is not already compatible.
“Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics are two great resources for webmasters to track diagnostic issues and monitor user activity on your site, but whether Google opens their services up to non-latin character based websites remains to be seen.”
Below I have started to list a very good resource of what is compatible with these IDN Domains.
For those who haven’t heard your clients will next year be able to have full domains in written in language scripts other than latin based alphabet. For example full domains in Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Korean, and/or Arabic. This will start with ccTLDs (Country domains .cn, .jp, etc). I will use .jp as an example since I’m in Japan. Currently you can already register IDNs in dot jp. For example if I own ダイヤモンド.jp ( when approved people in Japan will also be able to own .日本 (Japan). The registry in Japan has already announced registered holders of the “” will be the ones who have the option of the “Domain.日本” for the same domain.
Since .日本 is not yet available I can go through what is already IDN domain friendly & how far technology has gotten to. I have personally been testing these domains for more than 4 years already for SEO & marketing value.
A) Search Engines
The search engines are fairly familiar with these domains & have been adding IDN compatibility over the last several years.

Search listings results show IDN domains already. Here is an example below. Keyword as an SEO factor in the domain is only an option for the Japanese market if the domain is in Japanese too. This is the same logic for Chinese, Korean, & Arabic etc.
If you search for the Domain plus extension there is a high possibility it will be the number one position in the search results. For example if a site ホノルル.jp & in English letters both have the brand in Japanese “ホノルル.jp”, if Japanese users search for the term exactly without quotes the IDN Domain only has to be indexed to beat out the because to a search engine “ホノルル” & Honolulu are as relevant as ホノルル & any other term in English.

Yahoo Japan
Yahoo Japan is also already IDN compatible. Yahoo Japan & other Yahoo sites already display IDN Domains natively in the search results. One difference between Yahoo & Google that I have found is if a user searches for the domain & extension with or without quotes it is currently guaranteed first place position in the search results. I have tested this & no amount of SEO or links can make another domain get a better ranking. On Google another domain ranking higher is possible but not on Yahoo.
Bing’s search results weren’t IDN compatible. With the revamp of Bing the domains are now shown natively in the search results. If you search for a keyword plus domain it does not have a great chance of showing up in higher positions in Bing. There still needs to be more testing.

Baidu does not show IDN Domain sites in native Unicode. It shows the domains in punycode. Even if you search for the domain plus domain extension it will most likely not show up in the search results. I also have only tried this from Tokyo.

Here is an example of the search results from Baidu.
Yandex (Russian)
The largest search engine from Russia seems to not be very IDN compatible as of yet. The domains don’t show in the results when searched for. If the domains show in the results they are in Punycode.
Daum (Korean Search)
The Korean search portal is already IDN compatible. By doing a search for a developed Korean IDN Domain without quotes Daum brought these results. This is in the middle of the page with the natural search listings. I have not tested Korea domains thoroughly.
Naver (Korean Search)Add an Image
Naver does not display the domains in Unicode & even searching for a domain with extension does not bring up a developed Korean domain. Here is one Korean IDN developed site I found in the search results.
Both Google Adwords & Yahoo Search Marketing can accept IDN in search ads. The Domain can not be displayed in Unicode yet. This is a paid search ad on Yahoo using an IDN Domain.

1. Google Mobile Japan
The search listings for Google Japan mobile are IDN domain compatible & results show domains names natively.. The algorithm for mobile search is also different from PC search listings. There is a possibility that the domain name may have more value as a factor in the mobile search results. There is not much of any published data on this as of yet. All non Softbank cell phones in Japan have Google Mobile as the default search engine.
2. Yahoo Japan Mobile
Unlike the PC search results for Yahoo, IDN domains show as punycode in the mobile search results. Domains are indexed correctly & do show in results.
1. Google Page Rank
Years ago IDN domains did not show Google page rank but currently IDN domains & Google page rank are compatible.
2. Google Webmaster tools
Google Webmaster Tools has been IDN compatible for a few years now. Domains can be used in native form.
3. Yahoo Search Explorer
Yahoo Search Explorer is also IDN compatible. This has been IDN compatible for a few years also.
4. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is IDN compatible. I have always put in the domain as punycode & named the profile with the Japanese domain name. There is only one current tracking issue. Browser stats show IE7 & IE8 as IE6. I have contacted Google about this issue. There is a code work around that I have yet to test.
This is just a really quick overview of tools we are all familiar with & their compatibility with these domains.