A search marketing analyst has been looking at some of the common elements – as well as some of the differences – between local and international optimisation strategies.

Linguist Andy Atkins-Kruger told Search Engine Land that studying the overlaps between the two will help to one day make search engine optimisation (SEO) capable of delivering the kind of geo-targeting offered by pay per click marketing.

He said that keywords play a crucial role in both local and international campaigns.

In local search, the use of core geographic terms – and their position in a user's query – directly affects search results. For example, the term "restaurants Maryville" will return different pages to the term "Maryville restaurants".

Keywords also have a big influence in international SEO – although in some cases, they confuse as much as they clarify, particularly for ambiguous searches that make it difficult to determine a user's location.

Mr Atkins-Kruger said: "Does 'hotels Paris' refer to France or Texas, for instance?"

Elsewhere, a common theme for both international and local SEO is the growing importance of mobile.

In developed markets, targeting users of these devices is becoming a crucial element of any optimisation strategy, he added.

According to Morgan Stanley, there were almost four billion mobile subscribers worldwide at the end of 2009.

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