I own a lot of IDN domains related to Japan & really have seen a lot of comments on why people are afraid of using domain names written in other scripts such as Chinese, Japanese, Russian etc.
A few of the most constant comments seem to be
1. For example if the web address is totally in Chinese no one from the US can access the site.
2. If the site owner goes on a business trip to the US, etc he can’t show his site etc.
3. How will the site owner “Expand” his business globally?
4. This will divide the internet.
Well for me the questions all lead up to the last one of dividing the internet.
I have shocking news for you…
The internet is already divided.
SEO, SEM, marketing etc it is all usually targeted towards specific groups in certain countries.
Many people think there must not be many sites in other languages because they don’t come across them.
This is done on purpose. English sites rarely come up for Chinese users because sites in Chinese would much better suit them. Companies in Japan can really make services just catered to Japanese & live well. Not every business needs to go aggressively global. If they do they can get a team in the US, or Europe to build their brand their for them.
It is common for companies in Japan to concentrate online spending with Japanese creatives, targeting Japanese users. Yes you might see some English on creative media but it’s usually a design element. This is the division. Think about it. Are you going to open your business in LA with an English site & target users in Germany? Unless you have great expendable budget & you have a track record of conversions from that area… Probably not.
In the end though division is not always bad. It keeps things uncluttered.