Geo-targeting, and the customer experience

I'm finding it really hard to find any decent online resources, research and best practices around how websites deal with international audiences, i.e. the ability to serve the user the right content in terms of geography and language...

  • Is there any research you know of regarding this?
  • In your opinion, who does this really well? Amazon? MSN? Ebay? Google?
  • What makes it a good experience?
  • What are the pitfalls...what makes it a bad experience?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this...


Comments (2)
  1. Frank says:

    I had dealt with this extensively when working on a European banking portal for a large German bank. The details may bore you 😉 but the short version is that we treated language/cultural settings as a personalization issue that was automatically set based on the language code in the HTTP_USER_AGENT.

    Customers would load up the site and the app server (in this case ATG) would pick up their languages setting and personalize the site based on that.



  2. Dublin is a core geo to check out – Ireland is the heart of the tech Europeanization industry. lots of interesting research in automated translation and what not. I know that Patrick Gannon, who heads up the OASIS standards body, is super-excited 😉 about standards for automated language translation. can we write a technical manual just once?

    google is interesting because it serves you different dependent on where you are. if you go to a german PC and hit google it will be the .de domain and serve you German first. there are substantive differences – thus in China, as i undesrant it, some sites can’t be linked to, to aid censorship efforts.

    i heard one of the most heart warming stories in a hell of a long time recently. the folks building the Hebrew and Arabic OpenOffice support are now working together to get the job done. if there is any hope for peace in the middle east, then initiatives like that have got to help.

    check out a site called blogalization to – it has some related content

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