Globalization and SEO


The launch of has been quite an amazing thing to witness, not only the shear numbers of those that understand the importance of SEO and their sites, but also by the number of countries represented in those sign ups.

I graduated with a MBA in International Business from Thunderbird, and my first job out of school was working for a mineral company headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT. I was put in charge of the international sales and marketing efforts outside of the U.S. This meant traveling to roughly 25 countries per year, to visit distributors and customers in an attempt to keep them happy and increase their orders. It was grueling, interesting, educational, and humbling, or in other words, it was one of those million-dollar experiences you wouldn’t pay a dime to do again. I was essentially a professional kiss-up, and had to figure out how to kiss-up differently based on the culture of the country I was visiting. For years these international travels were what my personal definition of international business was based upon, and now these views are outdated, as times have changed, and the Internet is making the world a smaller place.

For example, my last PowerBook was ordered online, I chose some additional upgrades, etc. and clicked submit, I didn’t even have to go to China to do any of this. Somewhere in China my order was received, and my “customized” computer was built, and then drop shipped directly from the Chinese manufacturing facility the next day directly to me, truly amazing. The next morning I went to FedEx’s website to track it, and was able to confirmed my new computer had already left China and in route. The world is becoming a simpler place to find cheaper inputs to the manufacturing process, which lowers costs… Which begs the question, if Apple is manufacturing these computers in China and drop shipping them from there, why aren’t the prices on Apple computers coming down? Well now we could get into the benefits of a proprietary OS, and monopoly pricing strategies, but I digress.

So what kind of an affect does this globalization have on SEO? Well it means with increased technologies and improved transportation options, global competitiveness is going to continue to increase, and sites, which depend on online traffic, better be in a position to insure they can continue to capture the attention of potential clients who use search engines to find what they need. Additionally as more companies find cheaper manufacturing options overseas, and are able to benefit from simply drop shipping from these facilities, the savings created by lower overhead, should further increase competition and force prices lower. But it also means companies outside the domestic market can more effectively compete for all clients world-wide, without having a presence in every country. For example, if relatively the same product is drop shipped from China anyway, why would it matter if you didn’t order from a domestic company if you can save 20%?
I think we can safely predict that it won’t.

This line of logic should frighten business marketers to the core, and SEO should be on the minds of everyone who expects to remain, or climb to the top of their industry. I think SEO will be the difference in many industries between success and failure, and market share will be determined by how quickly business have embraced sound SEO practices, and committed to long-term SEO strategies. I believe SEO professionals should be using this line of logic to better convince potential clients to the future face, and the increased importance of being where clients can find them, namely on the first page of the search engines.

The growth and importance of SEO is still in its infancy, just getting ready to really grab the attention of business leaders. As you know, we business minded folks can be a bit slow to grasp new trends, especially in things we don’t understand, but once we do, the money flows and the industry explodes. I think SEO is getting ready to become something very, very big and those prepared for the ride are going to do very, very well.

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