Brands looking to develop foreign language sites should not overlook the importance of optimising them for the market's top search engine, according to one analyst.

Christian Arno of Search Engine Watch said producing pages in the dominant language of the target country and considering consumer behaviour in different parts of the world is obviously important, but it counts for nothing if a site is not being displayed to internet users.

In the west, most search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts target Google. According to comScore, its sites handled 65.8 per cent of the 15.8 billion searches carried out by US web users during July.

However, Mr Arno noted, Google is not an "internet superpower" in every country.

For example, the Baidu search engine handles 52 per cent of queries in China, compared to Google's 33 per cent.

In Russia, Yandex has a 64 per cent share of the market.

"The crucial lesson here – developing SEO specific to each country's dominant search engine is just as important as creating language- and culture-specific websites in the first place," Mr Arno said.

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