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Old 17th August 2011, 02:57 AM
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Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0110817aa.html


It seems that everywhere you look in Japan these days, printed advertising has Internet-style "search buttons" somewhere in the design, with Japanese text inside a box indicating the term to be searched. And many TV commercials end with a short phrase "such and such de kensaku" ("search on the Internet for such and such").

These techniques are used to guide people beyond the ads and onto the Internet. Advertisers expect viewers to be interested enough in the product being advertised to search for the given keyword on Yahoo! or Google, on PC or mobile phone — which in turn leads the potential customer to their website.
This style of ad was first introduced a few years ago and has rapidly become an advertising standard. Most printed ads now feature this search-engine box-and-button design.
In Japan, when you want to lure offline customers online, there are four methods that are more popular than the rest.
The first one is pretty basic and standard: display a Web address (URL) and ask people to type it into a browser.
The second technique is to use a QR-code. Under the leadership of cellphone carriers, Japanese mobile phones have had QR code-reading functions since 2003. In 2006, 100 percent of Japanese mobiles came with built-in readers, so it was understood that anyone with a phone could access the information stored in a QR code. Just taking a photo of one with an embedded URL instantly takes you to the website. It is so easy that many people use it.
Providing a very short alternative email address is the third well-used method. Companies can set up short address such as a@xyz.jp to which potential customers send a blank email eliciting an auto-reply with a longer Web address. This works especially well for cellphone-mail addicts, who send and receive hundreds of email on their cellphones daily.
And the search box with a keyword is the last method.
There is no single best way to lure people onto the Web, so real-world ads usually use some, or all, of these techniques.
But why is giving a URL, as is done in advertising elsewhere in the world, not enough?
This has to do with some Japan-specific circumstances.
If the company name on an ad is, say, "Apple," what is the correct URL? In the United States, if you were to simply type "apple" into the address bar of a browser it is likely to automatically send you to Apple Inc.'s website, as many browsers add the ".com" suffix for you.
In Japan it's different. Firstly a person has to guess how to spell a word using the Roman alphabet. Japanese advertising obviously uses Japanese text but in almost all cases URLs are in Roman. Even if English is used, this does not necessarily help with the spelling. And if Japanese is written in the Roman alphabet, there could be more than one way of doing so.
Adding to all that, Japanese people need to know whether a URL ends with ".com," ".jp" or ".co.jp." In the U.S., established companies secured the ".com" domain in the early days of the Internet. But in Japan, the three domain suffixes compete in popularity, so it is not easy to guess whether the main site for Toyota, for example, is .com, .jp or .co.jp.
Typing Roman letters is also an issue as it is not the most common way to type in Japan. To foreigners it may seem more complex to type Japanese characters, but in fact that is naturally the easiest way for Japanese. Typing a roman-text-based URL into a browser's address bar is for many Japanese less favorable, and slower, than simply typing a Japanese keyword into a search box. And, as the whole idea of these keywords in ads is that when done properly the company's website will be at the top of the search result list, this method can be quite effective.
As a result, many companies have taken to this search-keyword idea. However, some companies do not realize how quickly search results can change, and in the worse cases they did not even check whether their site really is the top of the result when the keyword they suggest is searched for. Some advertisers have found their keyword actually sends potential customers to a competitor's site.
In China, I have noticed many popular sites use numerals as Web addresses, e.g., 163.com. I think this is because Chinese have a similar problem with how to connect with consumers. Numbers are easy to remember and easier to type.
In Japan, the digits in toll-free phone numbers often carry meaning because of the many ways number-words can be pronounced. For example, removal companies may use the numbers "154" which can be pronounced "hikkoshi" ("moving"). But on the Internet, domains using number are not so popular in Japan.
Over the past decade, there has been a move towards International Domain Names (IDN), whereby URLs can be written in non-Roman alphabets, such as Arabic and Chinese. More than 20 countries now also have country suffixes that are written in their local script, such as .中国 (China), and Japan may soon join the list. Yet, despite Japanese-character domain names being available they are not popular. For example, even ".com" or ".jp" can be written in Japanese but I have rarely seen Japanese domain names used in advertising. I am not sure having the domain .日本 as well as .jp would change things much.
If even such a basic thing as a website address can be so complex as to have inspired the trend of search keywords, then adding Japanese text to the equation may just create more confusion. If someone were to invent a better way to direct customers to websites than the four methods mentioned here, it would be a game-changer.
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Old 17th August 2011, 03:03 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

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Originally Posted by DktoInc View Post
For example, even ".com" or ".jp" can be written in Japanese
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Old 17th August 2011, 03:09 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

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he is from the future.

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Old 17th August 2011, 03:14 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

he's travelled with Blast
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Old 17th August 2011, 03:16 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

Japan Times online news, nice. All those 404 error pages what a waste.

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Old 17th August 2011, 04:51 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

Quote:
To foreigners it may seem more complex to type Japanese characters, but in fact that is naturally the easiest way for Japanese.
Quote:
If even such a basic thing as a website address can be so complex as to have inspired the trend of search keywords, then adding Japanese text to the equation may just create more confusion.
So which is it? The easiest way, or creating more confusion. Make up you mind, for chrissake!
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Old 17th August 2011, 06:30 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

What has to be understood is that the practice of advertising a search term in a search box to get potential customers to advertisers sites arose out of need due to the lack of domains in the native language. Advertisers found that displaying a search term in Japanese was more effective than displaying a domain name using ascii characters because the Japanese term was easier for Japanese people to remember. It was more memorable even than Romaji. It passed the radio test and the ascii domain didn't.

Given time, exposure and perhaps .com/.jp in Japanese I think it is pretty easy to see that advertising the URL will become the norm. It has all the advantages and none of the disadvantages of the other methods. Even now the trend to type in urls can be seen growing month by month.
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Old 17th August 2011, 07:09 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clotho View Post
What has to be understood is that the practice of advertising a search term in a search box to get potential customers to advertisers sites arose out of need due to the lack of domains in the native language. Advertisers found that displaying a search term in Japanese was more effective than displaying a domain name using ascii characters because the Japanese term was easier for Japanese people to remember. It was more memorable even than Romaji. It passed the radio test and the ascii domain didn't.

Given time, exposure and perhaps .com/.jp in Japanese I think it is pretty easy to see that advertising the URL will become the norm. It has all the advantages and none of the disadvantages of the other methods. Even now the trend to type in urls can be seen growing month by month.
I'm sure the idea make some kind of impact in the western world a couple of years back. There were a few movies that said "Search for blah blah blah at Google". Why on earth they would do that I don't know.... haven't seen it recently though.
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Old 17th August 2011, 07:19 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

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Originally Posted by Clotho View Post
What has to be understood is that the practice of advertising a search term in a search box to get potential customers to advertisers sites arose out of need due to the lack of domains in the native language. Advertisers found that displaying a search term in Japanese was more effective than displaying a domain name using ascii characters because the Japanese term was easier for Japanese people to remember. It was more memorable even than Romaji. It passed the radio test and the ascii domain didn't.

Given time, exposure and perhaps .com/.jp in Japanese I think it is pretty easy to see that advertising the URL will become the norm. It has all the advantages and none of the disadvantages of the other methods. Even now the trend to type in urls can be seen growing month by month.
Yeah, its a bit like kids having to buy tickets in a Tombola to get the toy they want.
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Old 17th August 2011, 08:10 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

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Originally Posted by Rubber Duck View Post
Yeah, its a bit like kids having to buy tickets in a Tombola to get the toy they want.
I have seen someone write about how the Japanese advertise using search terms a few times now and it always baffles me that the author cannot see the underlying cause or the progression.

Ascii characters? Not memorable. Doesn’t pass the radio test.

QR Codes? Not memorable. Doesn’t pass the radio test.

Romaji? No certain way of spelling anything and still doesn’t pass the radio test.

Japanese domains? Memorable and passes the radio test. The only catch is that they got burned by these at one point as .com

Solution? Now that the browsers all work and penetration is very high .コム domains will be known to function and will therefore dominate. I think if Verisign is smart they will bundle the .com with the .コム version to alleviate any doubt that may still remain from the i-client/RealNames debacle early in the testbed. IE. Not make the .コム optional for an extra fee.

Why hasn’t it happened already? Well you don’t change the status quo overnight no matter how superior the proposal is. Also, you have many SEO people who are going to be resistant to this. It’s their bread and butter.

In the mean-time we wait and look for signs. The best sign that I see is that my Japanese portfolio is increasing revenue every month and not by just a little. August has already had the best day ever and if the current pace continues will beat July by a third. It’s taking off very nicely.:D
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Old 17th August 2011, 09:24 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clotho View Post
I have seen someone write about how the Japanese advertise using search terms a few times now and it always baffles me that the author cannot see the underlying cause or the progression.

Ascii characters? Not memorable. Doesn’t pass the radio test.

QR Codes? Not memorable. Doesn’t pass the radio test.

Romaji? No certain way of spelling anything and still doesn’t pass the radio test.

Japanese domains? Memorable and passes the radio test. The only catch is that they got burned by these at one point as .com

Solution? Now that the browsers all work and penetration is very high .コム domains will be known to function and will therefore dominate. I think if Verisign is smart they will bundle the .com with the .コム version to alleviate any doubt that may still remain from the i-client/RealNames debacle early in the testbed. IE. Not make the .コム optional for an extra fee.

Why hasn’t it happened already? Well you don’t change the status quo overnight no matter how superior the proposal is. Also, you have many SEO people who are going to be resistant to this. It’s their bread and butter.

In the mean-time we wait and look for signs. The best sign that I see is that my Japanese portfolio is increasing revenue every month and not by just a little. August has already had the best day ever and if the current pace continues will beat July by a third. It’s taking off very nicely.:D
I agree with all that, except the bit about VeriSign giving the IDN ".com" version away for free. Not a chance in the world. Also, stuff like iDNS and RealNames is just irrelevant. The Internet moves too quickly for that. You'd be lucky to find 1 person in 10,000 that had ever heard of them.
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Old 17th August 2011, 11:14 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

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Originally Posted by domainguru View Post
I agree with all that, except the bit about VeriSign giving the IDN ".com" version away for free. Not a chance in the world. Also, stuff like iDNS and RealNames is just irrelevant. The Internet moves too quickly for that. You'd be lucky to find 1 person in 10,000 that had ever heard of them.
Verisign do not want to do this because they are not smart. It is commercially not very smart as only the most relevant transliterations will be maintained.

ICANN may yet make it impossible for Verisign to do it the way the envisage. Implementation of DNAMES in the Root Zone would be a complete game changer. Effectively Verisign is going to use CNAMES. DNAMES in the Root Zone woud trump all that. This could be enabled before applications are opened.
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Old 17th August 2011, 11:16 AM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

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Originally Posted by domainguru View Post
I agree with all that, except the bit about VeriSign giving the IDN ".com" version away for free. Not a chance in the world. Also, stuff like iDNS and RealNames is just irrelevant. The Internet moves too quickly for that. You'd be lucky to find 1 person in 10,000 that had ever heard of them.
Yeah, I'm not holding my breath on them bundling it either although I am certain it would be the better user experience. I wouldn't mind paying extra and just having both work as well. Giving people the option to turn the transliteration 'on' means that on some domains the translit will work and on some it won't and that just confuses people.

People in Japan may not remember iDNS or RealNames but I think you might find that many remember that they could register Japanese names before (there was plenty news about it) but they didn't work hence being burned.

This article writes about the iDNS/RealNames mess but he makes the mistake of thinking that the keyword solution will be the final solution: Japan domain market demystified

I have seen the trend/growth in type-in traffic and I know it won't be. When advertisers figure out how much traffic they are missing they will get up to speed quickly. If Verisign manages the translit of .com properly it will be even better.

Last edited by Clotho; 17th August 2011 at 11:52 AM.. Reason: added link to article.
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Old 17th August 2011, 02:03 PM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

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Originally Posted by Clotho View Post
Yeah, I'm not holding my breath on them bundling it either although I am certain it would be the better user experience. I wouldn't mind paying extra and just having both work as well. Giving people the option to turn the transliteration 'on' means that on some domains the translit will work and on some it won't and that just confuses people.

People in Japan may not remember iDNS or RealNames but I think you might find that many remember that they could register Japanese names before (there was plenty news about it) but they didn't work hence being burned.

This article writes about the iDNS/RealNames mess but he makes the mistake of thinking that the keyword solution will be the final solution: Japan domain market demystified

I have seen the trend/growth in type-in traffic and I know it won't be. When advertisers figure out how much traffic they are missing they will get up to speed quickly. If Verisign manages the translit of .com properly it will be even better.
Anyone that thought the RealNames "solution" would last was an idiot. Just a chance for Microsoft to score some soft dollars from an idiot corp. Had nothing to do with domains whatsoever...
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Old 17th August 2011, 02:49 PM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

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Yeah, I'm not holding my breath on them bundling it either although I am certain it would be the better user experience.
I agree.

I originally thought that Verisign may have been tempted to raise the prices of all dot coms and bundle all aliased versions. The rationale was that nike.com or gold.com could also get the traffic from nike.ком and gold.コム without having to think or unlock anything. It won't happen in my opinion as .com and .net have strict pricing rules under their existing ICANN contract and Verisign would rather pocket the price increases & charge a pay per idntld fee.
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Old 17th August 2011, 04:13 PM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

I've seen a lot of QR codes, but never saw anyone use them. But it does make the advertising seem more high tech.

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Old 17th August 2011, 06:15 PM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

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I've seen a lot of QR codes, but never saw anyone use them. But it does make the advertising seem more high tech.
Where have all the QR codes gone?
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Old 17th August 2011, 06:20 PM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

interesting
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Old 17th August 2011, 06:35 PM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

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Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
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Old 17th August 2011, 06:59 PM
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Re: Why do Japanese advertisers suggest Internet-search keywords?

The CueCat in its initial concept has been considered a commercial failure. It received the dubious distinction as one of "The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time" according to PC World magazine. The CueCat's critics said the device was ultimately of little use: wrote Jeff Salkowski of the Chicago Tribune, "You have to wonder about a business plan based on the notion that people want to interact with a soda can," while Debbie Barham of the Evening Standard quipped that the CueCat "fails to solve a problem which never existed." In December 2009, the popular gadget blog Gizmodo voted the CueCat the #1 worst invention of the "2000s" decade.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CueCat

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