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Now it's time to look at how it works. Oh, sorry, how it doesn't work.
Tolerance to Invisibility
There are top needs such as job, health, foodstuffs, car, etc. that millions of citizens depends on in their everyday life, be it in Kiev, Moscow or New York City. Also, we know there are a lot of websites that offer relevant products and services via Internet, especially in large cities. The point, however, is how reachable and effective service and product providers are online. To learn whether online resources meet needs of an average consumer in different cities, we can describe some of most likely queries with keywords or phrases and type keywords in a search box of search engines.
For example, let's take Google.com and Google.com.ua that can provide powerful search on New York City and Kiev. If you type "new york city jobs" or "jobs in kiev" (the latter in Russian or Ukrainian, of course) in search box and hit Enter, you'll get millions of search results on New York and more than hundred thousand results on Kiev, with first 30 relevant to search query in both cases. It's OK; website owners in recruitment industry do pay attention to their online visibility and traffic to their sites in many countries worldwide. When you're searching for "online food shopping," you can find a lot of online stores in New York, but Kiev Top 30 results include no direct links to websites that sell foodstuffs - just free classifieds and links to listings at Internet directories. It's not bad for New York shoppers who can choose among one and a half million search results on foodstuffs. But when it comes to other industries that cannot show so many results, say, dentistry, Kiev and New York web resources demonstrate almost same trends; a majority of dentistry sites have no direct links from Google's search result pages and are searchable only through classifieds and listings at directories, if any. Many of them have slow-loading pages unfriendly to both search engine spiders and Internet users. What did website owners think about, when they invested in those packages of pictures and programming codes that could never get even a click in shadows of competitors? They didn't think. They just listened to their web design contractors.
Here is a classic example. The Kiev web developers who provide outsourcing services say that their best clients are among US small businesses and Ukrainian large companies. Why? Because there is no need to follow rigid requirements in terms of website promotion and visibility, and a contractor may expect a higher fee-to-time ratio. The US clients think an easy availability of broadband services within their country gives them a reason to ignore some common requirements and to believe that huge pictures and codes could also be cool for dial-up and international users. On other hand, Ukrainian key clients often neglect an online visibility issue, as they believe their brand names are widely known both regionally and globally. That's why they trust their contractors absolutely and never draw up specifications themselves.
The vast majority of website owners around globe still don't bother imposing limits on graphics and programming codes and don't care about website specifications, especially visibility issues such as keyword and competitor analysis, web page structure, web promotion (http://azurel10n.com/web-promotion-faq.htm), etc. You can launch your web project that way too, but think about what you'll really get: a functional site with tens of thousands of monthly hits or an unreachable online presentation in an Internet-compatible format?
Vyacheslav Melnik is the founder and owner of AzureL10n (http://azurel10n.com/), a website specializing in web localization, copywriting and search engine optimization for Runet and Uanet, the Russian and Ukrainian portions of the Internet.