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This chapter is from the book

Organic Search

As we discussed in Chapter 2, to build online visibility in Google, you need to provide clear signals identifying the country you are targeting. Because Spanish is spoken in many countries, marketing in Spain must employ at least at least two of the following, and all three would be even better:

  1. Use the Spanish language, preferably the right Spanish language—Castilian, Catalan, and so on.
  2. Use the .es extension for your domain.
  3. Use links from sites within Spain, or at minimum, links from sites written in Spanish.

For search engine optimization (SEO), it is important to have in mind the different dialects spoken in Spain. Though Spanish is the official language of Spain, there are various dialects. You will find people who speak Spanish (Castilian), Galician and Catalan from Latin, and Basque (of uncertain origin). There are even other historical dialects that cannot be considered official languages but are widely used nonetheless. The big ones—like Catalan, Galician, and Basque—each boast dedicated TV and radio stations, newspapers, and magazines. As you can see in Figure 13.5 and Table 13.4, an English word might be a completely different word from one language in Spain to the next.

Figure 13.5

Figure 13.5 The two images illustrate the difference between a search for “lightning” in Catalan versus Castilian.

Table 13.4 Examples of How Words Translate Differently Among Spanish Languages

English

Castilian (Castellano)

Catalan (Català)

Brick

Ladrillo

Maó

To go

Ir

Anar

Lightning

Relámpago

Llampec

To eat

Comer

Menjar

Bottle

Botella

Ampolla

Chair

Silla

Cadira

Bed

Cama

Llit

Table

Mesa

Taula

  • “Although Spanish is the official language of Spain, there are a variety of dialects.”

Another good example of language differences in Spain is how the word “mobile” (as in “mobile telephone”) translates. In Spanish (Castilian), it is “Móvil”; in Catalan, it is “Mòbil”; and in Basque, it is “Mugikorra.” You need to carefully research these differences and build them into your marketing efforts in Spain to maximize success.

As we know from basic SEO, search engines are very literal and evaluate relevance according to the exact search phrase they are given in a query. Search bots will not make connections between synonyms. This of course, is equally true in languages other than English. As with all search marketing, your best path to visibility is to use the exact terms your targeted searcher would use.

When it comes to link building, there is some low-hanging fruit at the Open Directory Project, also known as Dmoz (see Figure 13.6). Do your homework to find the right category within the site.

Figure 13.6

Figure 13.6 Dmoz can give you a helpful first link.

It should be easy to find more sources for links, such as directories, forums that are addressing issues related to your services, and so on. Use the Google search string “web directory site:*.es -google” to find directories in English. This will take you to local directories, such as Linkadoo (see Figure 13.7) and webbarato.es.

Figure 13.7

Figure 13.7 Linkadoo.es is a good source for inbound links in Spain.

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