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The Search Engine Strategies (SES) Conference in Toronto just wrapped up. This event was organized and programmed by Andrew Goodman, the SES Advisory Board and Search Engine Watch. It was two information packed days and great networking with other Canadian search engine optimizers and search engine marketers. And… lots of tweeting!

In a previous post about SES Toronto, I mentioned that post-conference I would blog about the event from a Canadian perspective. This, on the most part, comes from the Geek Track.


Current Canadian Search Landscape / Mayor Search Engines

• Google captures the majority of searches (80%) in Canada. This is followed by Bing/MSN (9%), Yahoo! (8%) and Ask (3%).
Google Canada (Google.ca) receives 60% of searches. Google.com attracts 18%. The balance comes from the other    international search properties.
• Top Canadian search is Facebook (a navigation search of course).
• Most Canadian search queries contain one or two keywords (52%).
• Finding relevant Canadian results is an issue (searchers are more successful with “Canada” as an addition keyword.

Source: Heather Dougherty, Research Director, Hitwise

Canada Specific SEO & PPC Issues

• SEO: Getting found in a Canadian organic search is an issue for some business (due to domain extension, website hosting location and/or lack of Canadian-centric inbound links).
• SEO: Not appearing in both English and French search for bilingual websites.
• SEO: US parent company outranks Canadian website in Canadian searches.
• PPC: Higher time investment due managing multiple languages, currencies, engines and low market share compared to the US.
• PPC: Higher spend as American only companies unintentional run paid ads in Canada.
• SEO & PPC: Canada has two official languages – need to optimize for both.

Panelists: Marc Poirier, Guillaume Bouchard and Ari Shomair. Moderator: Andrew Goodman.

Canadian Launches

1. Hitwise – Canadian Stats
Hitwise, an Experian company, recently launched a Canada-specific site – Hitwise Canada. It provides data on Canadian Internet users, websites’ traffic rankings, Clickstream, search terms and demographic segmentation.

2. Bing.ca – Canadian Search Engine
Microsoft just unveiled its new search engine Bing and the Canada-specific version (bing.ca) replacing Windows Live Search. Of course, Bing is still in beta in the Canada.

So what was the BUZZ?

Social Media – Twitter

Aside from the keynote speaker, Emanuel Rosen, Author of The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited, the BUZZ was all about Social Media. YouTube, Facebook and yes, you guessed it Twitter. Not only was the session “The Ins & Outs of Twitter” really well attended, giving out Twitter addresses, tweeting and retweeting was popular in every session!

Missing: Google as an exhibitor as well as speakers from the major search engine.

So…. Did I find what I was searching for at SES Toronto? Yes, I did!

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