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Does category listing improve ranking in Japanese search engines?

According to the research by Xlisting (excite is their major share holder), 55.6% of pages ranking within top 10 in Yahoo search results are owned by the sites listed in Xlinsting’s categories. They also says that 43% of Google top 10 pages and 40% of MSN top 10 pages are listed in their categories. They comment that “being listed in Xlisting category helps pages to rank higher in the search results.” I say, “their comment is misleading.”

Sure, being listed (linked) in popular portal sites such as “goo” and “Biglobe” helps, but it’s also a fact that my clients, who are not using the listing services, are doing just fine and ranking within top 10 (often times #1 and #2) in these search engines. The companies, who are willing to invest $400 to $1000 for the listing service, are most likely to invest in optimizing their site and the pages, too, and that’s probably the main reason for the good ranking. What I’m looking at now is the effects of Yahoo bookmark in the Yahoo search results. I’ve seen many Hatena’s bookmarked pages ranking well in Google’s search results, and I’m sure that Yahoo’s bookmark gives additional “kick” to the page’s ranking.

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Motoko Hunt

President & Search Marketing Strategist at AJPR
Motoko Hunt manages the SEO for all of Adobe's properties in Japan and the APAC region. Prior to joining Adobe, Motoko established AJPR in 1998; she has been providing search marketing consulting services targeting Japan and Asia to companies around the world. Her services have made a big impact on the search marketing campaigns of some of the world's most popular multi-national brands. A number of her articles have been published on industry websites and printed media including MultiLingual Computing and the International Journal of Localisation. She also writes about the Japanese online market on her blog at AJPR and contributes to several online magazines in Japan and Asia. She served as a member of the board of directors of SEMPO in 2010-2012, and is a chairperson of the SEMPO Asia-Pacific Committee.

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