Pharrell Williams – Happy – Tokyo Edition

Ever want to see how happy people can be in Tokyo, Japan vibing to Pharell’s Happy?

Well wonder no more.
The weekend is almost here so get ready to just be Happy.
Shot in Tokyo Japan here’s the Happy Japanese version…

I actually think it’s illegal in Tokyo to have a video shoot with a duration of more than 5 minutes without someone wearing some kind of cute animal costume.
I don’t think they ever translated that particular law into English though.

MIXI one of Japan’s first major Social Media to merge with…

MIXI company merger
Mixi company merger

MIXI Japan’s internet giant & one of the largest native social media sites has agreed to a merger with istyle. The two companies will merge under the Vantage brand.

istyle has been successful especially with it’s cosmetics portal site @Cosme which is the number 1 cosmetic site in Japan. The company merger & employee transfer will take place by March 2014.

MIXI actually did change the way Japanese utilized the internet. It was one of the first success SNS sites in the country.

My personal opinion is that it had a lot of great features that are not on other platforms but most of them were taken off the site. Perhaps it will be one of the few SNS’s to have an actual second coming.

Here’s the official press release in Japanese.
http://mixi.co.jp/press/2014/0121/12117/

(マイミク某集中)
Maimiku Boushu Chuu
*Credit to Katsuya :-p

Nayokenza releases new music video Lavender

NayokenzaLocal Tokyo artist Nayokenza released a new track from an upcoming EP titled “Lavender”.
Nayo goes a bit more melodic on this track but keeps to his unique sound. The video was shot by Charbel Bou-Antoun in Tokyo.

If you are not familiar with Nayokenza he’s part of the team that’s bring fun dance parties back in style with Woodoff Dance Party. You can also find him DJ at many of the hot spots in Tokyo Trump Room, Le Baron, & others.

Here’s the video.
You can find Nayo via Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/nayokenza  or his official blog
http://nayodayo.tumblr.com

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.

 

Yahoo Japan’s New Keyword Advice Tool 2010

The Overture Keyword Tool was killed off more than 3 years ago. The tool’s data was used by online business owners, internet marketers, domainers, & just about everyone else who needed to know the search volume of their target keywords.  The tool’s data was also integrated into plenty of various business’ tools.

Even though the tool was used by so many, the ratio of Yahoo’s paid clients to users who used the data varied a lot. So Yahoo made a decision to kill the tool with the promise it would come back later. Well about a year later or so it did come back. Yahoo smartened up though. Yahoo realized that Agencies gave them most of their business revenue so they made the new tool available to Ad Agencies that ran Paid search campaigns. I think I’ve had access to the Yahoo Japan tool for more than 2 years now. This new tool was really accurate on impression volumes from the previous month & would give keyword ideas & traffic click estimates.

Going back to 2 months ago I was attending a Yahoo Japan seminar for Agency workers & they informed us about yet another Keyword Advice Tool coming soon. This tool finally debuted this month. Summing it up in one word: BRAVO!! These are the new features that are absolutely amazing & useful

1. Search Volume from previous month
2. PPC Competitor level
3. Estimates/Volume based on Exact Matches or Broad
4. Estimates for only Listed Keywords (Only Google’s Traffic Estimator does this & the numbers are way off)
5. Include related keywords
6. Daypart Data
7. Gender breakdown
8. Location Breakdown
9. Age Breakdown
10.  Day of the week breakdown

This new tool was made domestically by Yahoo Japan & really gives Ad Agency’s a clear advantage in the detail we can now research better keywords for our clients. I’ve told our Yahoo Reps that come to GroupM how much I love the tool already but this is a public Thank You.. You guys did a great job. I would imagine that next the tool will include Mobile data. I can’t see what else I could need after that.

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.

Japan mobile trends interesting stats

Last night I went to a presentation at Tokyo 2.0
I found a few stats about the mobile market that was interesting.

1/16th of the internet users in the world use mobile internet.
1/4th of Japanese internet users use mobile internet.
35% of the world’s mobile revenue comes from Japan
Some sites say more than 60% of mobile traffic is from females
Mixi Japan’s largest SNS stats 86% of it’s traffic comes from mobile.

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.
http://www.outrider.com.au/blog/idns-and-the-potential-impact-on-search/
“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 (Diamond.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 “Domain.jp” 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.

Google
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 Honolulu.jp 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 Honolulu.jp 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
Live.com’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
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.
B)   PAID SEARCH
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.

C)   MOBILE SEARCH
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.
D)   SEO TOOLS
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.

Google Japan Television Commercials

Google has been advertising all last year in Japan to try to increase it’s marketshare in Japan. Both Yahoo! Japan & Google suffered throughout 2009 as high advertising industries saw decline in budgets for the year.

I just noticed these TV spots on Japanese TV for Google. As I went to try to find it to blog about it, I noticed that there were a variety of variations. Google not only did a TV spot but made a tool that lets users create their own YouTube commercial just like theirs & add it to their YouTube account.

This was too much of a tempation for us not to do. So lets take a look at the original Google Video below & our version of what we believe Japanese guys are really looking for.

Original Google Japan TV Commercial

This is the Original Video

Our Google Japan CM

This is our version hope you enjoy.

You too can make your own Google branded Commercial from here
Thanx Google guys
http://google.co.jp/sagasou

Happy New Year