How to Gauge Foreign Content Markets’ Sizes?

Author: Gab Goldenberg

While reading this recent commentary on Google’s progressive rollouts of algorithms worldwide, I picked up on Aaron’s mention that some sites competing in languages with less content are less likely to get whacked.

“In most foreign markets Google is not likely to be as aggressive with this type of algorithm as they are in the United States (because foreign ad markets are less liquid and there is less of a critical mass of content in some foreign markets), but I would be willing to bet that Google will be pretty aggressive with it in the UK when it rolls out.” [Emphasis mine.]

How do you figure out what those languages are?


Relative sizes of article collections in Wikipedia when comparing between languages

Relative sizes of article collections in Wikipedia when comparing between languages

Of course, you need to take that information with a grain of salt. Obviously Wikipedia’s data is not necessarily representative of the web as a whole. Cultural differences, for example, may make speakers of one language disproportionately more likely to contribute to Wikipedia than others. But it’s a data point worth considering, if of course you have the capacity to compete in more than one language. This is the sort of critical thinking encouraged and taught in my book, of course.

“Whooooosh!” – That was the sound of dozens of content farms going multilingual ;).

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  1. cool idea! You might also look at Internet World Stats or Google's public data explorer for a general overview of a market. E.g. here is the broadband penetration for some of the countries in the screenshot: - based on a quick glance the countries with lower penetration seem to roughly equate to those with lower Wiki article numbers. You'd also want to look at total net population. From my experience with continental European campaigns, even in more connected countries such as Germany their local Google results seem to act a bit differently and slower compared to the UK and US, for the time being anyway.

    Comment by Sharif - March 30, 2011 @ 11:09am
  2. Thanks Sharif! Interesting link you shared there. Would you like to share a case study on campaigns you've run in Europe? I think my audience would find that really interesting!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - April 4, 2011 @ 8:01am

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