Thursday, 15 September 2011

The importance of Multilingual SEO - or lack thereof

This is the second email I receive from this gentleman, here is his email and my reply. Just one question, am I being unnecessarily mean? Or is it relatively measured?

To: willem
Subject: - Did you receive this email sent to you last week ?
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2011 00:46:35 +0300
From: martin

Did you receive the e-mail which we sent to you recently (copied here-below)?
Please confirm since I have had problems lately with emails intercepted by spam-filters set too high.


Martin, Ph.D.

I am Dr. Martin and I work for Multilingual Search Engine Optimization Inc. in Washington DC  (Tel:) - I would like to speak with the person in charge of your international clientele. Who is my contact? Who should I speak to??

In fact, after visiting , I have noticed that your website cannot be found on foreign search engines (I tested it on Hispanic search engines, German search engines, Asian search engines, etc.) Our company is specialized in multilingual search engine promotions in 28 languages . From the Japanese Google to the German Yahoo, from the AOL  in Spanish to the MSN in Chinese, we can show you how to develop a true international online presence by promoting your website on foreign search engines.

Let us show  you how to develop a presence on the multilingual web without having to  translate your website: It is not necessary to translate your website in  order to submit to foreign search engines, however, you need to have at least  1 page in Japanese optimized with Japanese keywords and meta tags in order to  submit to Japanese search engines, at least 1 page in Spanish optimized with  Spanish keywords in order to submit to Hispanic search engines and so  on...

I strongly suggest that you watch our online presentation which explains clearly how to get top rankings on foreign search engines with  only 1 entry page per language (click on the following link or copy-paste it  into your web browser): the Japanese Google to the German Yahoo, from the AOL  in Spanish to the MSN in Chinese, get users to find your website when  searching with YOUR KEYWORDS in their Native language.

Please call me at xx or email me and let's work on giving your website the true international exposure which it deserves to have with foreign native online  users!!


Martin, Ph.D.

From: willem
To: martin
Subject: RE: - Did you receive this email sent to you last week ?
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2011 03:05:21 +0000

Dear Doctor,

I did indeed receive your email last week. 

I had started writing a reply but stopped myself because it wouldn't have added any value, I thought it was probably a spam-bot email and it would have wasted my time, which I couldn't afford to do last week as I was very busy. You should probably have left it at that, but you're being insistent now so here I am. You caught me when I was just looking for some content for a new blog post and I can afford to waste a few minutes. 

Given you've sent another email, I'm now thinking you are actually serious in what you're talking about which to me is fairly unbelievable, being a marketing and digital communications professional myself. If you are a real doctor, I'm going to go on a wild guess here and say your Ph.D had nothing to do with the Internet because you don't sound like you know what you are talking about.

As you've correctly identified, I have a personal url, it's my personal and sometimes also business blog. It doesn't have that many visitors and I don't really need them either. 

It is written - in English - so why would anyone searching the web in another language want to come across it? And why would I bother spending time, effort and I suspect cash to make my site 'SEO friendly in other languages' when I'm writing in english, it doesn't make sense. And if I was searching in another language I may well be looking for content in my own language rather than having a blog written in English show up in my search results. I personally happen to be bilingual in French as well as pretty good with Spanish, if I really wanted to focus on reaching a French or Spanish speaking audience, guess what? I'd write in French or Spanish and then my blog would magically be optimized for French or Spanish search terms. 

Moreover it is extremely easy to translate my whole blog for free at the click of a button, you should try Google Translate: I tried using the link you provided for your presentation and it is broken, though I still found the demo via another journey of clicks on the site. 

That demo is preposterous by the way, and definitely contains erroneous information. I'd like to quote this:
'With the Foreign Web, a Japanese user will have a better incentive to type in keywords using his native Japanese characters in a search engine' - Oh my god, who would have thought!?

I imagine and really hope you are a good person just trying to run a good business here, but please realise the concept is just too silly for me to take seriously, I'm sorry.

Kind regards,

PS: Spam-filters aren't set too high, I found your email in my junk box. You use quite a lot of spam like terms in your email and the filters get it's a very 'salesy' email. I won't give you a recommendation on how to make your emails better, though I would advise focusing your business in a different direction altogether.

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