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SMX China – initial opinions from Chinese search marketers

Alex Christie

18 April 2008

It is the end of the first day of the Xiamen conference. We have had a lot of people show interest in our stand, and have handed out a lot of information. Tip for next time anyone has a stand in China – you really don’t need much English language information at all, I would say only 5% of the people at the conference are natural English speakers.

I have attended three sessions today. The first was the Keynote, which Aidan has previously written about, and the most interesting thing for me was the fact that the speaker highlighted the problem of clickfraud on PPC campaigns in China. Saying that around 30% of SME users stopped after a month or two, because they perceive this to be a big problem.

I then attended two fairly introductory sessions, the more in depth sessions get underway on the second day. The introductory session on "Search Engine Friendly Web design" catered mostly to those with almost no experience of SEO, and had a big emphasis on designing for customers. Which is excellent advice, because when you are a newcomer, deluged with ideas for increasing your rank, it is easy to forget the effect these site changes can have on your customers.

Although no one spoke to me personally about Google Analytics today, Bing and Amy tell me that Chinese people have been commenting to them about their distrust of Google Analytics. They don’t want to rely on a free tool and wonder what is wrong with it, why is it free?  I guess this kind of thinking is not exclusive to China, but I hope that Google Analytics is given enough of a chance in China for people to see that it is an excellent tool, despite the absence of a price tag. Perhaps it will be discussed tomorrow at the Analytics Roundtable session, which is the session I am most interested in at this conference, and which I will blog about tomorrow!

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