Japanese Search Engines

There exist a huge number of Japanese search engines, perhaps more than 1000 search engines in different categories, because Japan is the world's second most important internet market after USA.

Nevertheless, initially there were few search engines of US origin excepting for Yahoo, of which technology relies on human editors rather than indexing robots, while many Japanese search engines had been experimented for Japanese market, because the structure of Japanese language is quite different from western languages (for example each character is coded to 2 bytes and there exists no separator like "space" between 2 words)

But, those Japanese search engines were wiped out, once the American search engines had implemented Japanese language specific algorithms, though some of them were later purchased by Japanese companies after financial troubles.
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Here is a list of the most important Japanese search engines that you should preferably submit to catch a significant number of visitors. They are approximately ranked by a quantity of traffic they may generate, i.e. Yahoo is the most visited search engine and their importance decreases toward the bottom (approximately).

We can also translate your English or French sites to Japanese and submit them to Japanese search engines for you. If you are interesting in our service, please refer to Translation of web sites to Japanese.

Name Type Description
Yahoo Japan Directory & Keywords Very hard to be accepted but once listed, it generates a comfortable traffic. You should enter the title with 20 Japanese characters + its pronunciation with "hiragana" (this is used to list the sites by Japanese alphabetic order) and the description with 50 Japanese characters. The acceptance of the site is announced by an email like the English version. Yahoo has just dropped the keyword listing from Google, and passed to an own SERP (search engine results page) coming from Inktomi's technology, the latter recently purchased by Yahoo. The commercial sites are accepted only via a paid submission (Business Express). It costs 52,500 yens (with VAT) and only the payment via a bank transfer or credit cards issued in Japan are accepted.
Google Japan Keywords English version of Google has a good reputation due to its pertinence. Since September 12, 2000, this service is available in Japanese language, too. If you have already submitted your English pages to Google and Japanese pages are linked from there, they should be automatically crawled by this search engine. The database is no more used by Yahoo Japan in its keyword section as American counterparts. Please also note that its directory listing comes from Dmoz (Open directory project).
Goo Keywords Subsidiary of NTT, Goo has just given up a long collaboration with Inktomi and passed a deal with Google to use their database. So you need no more submit your web pages to Goo if your site appears on their SERP (search engine results page). Please note also that the suffix of its address is "ne.jp" (equivalent of "net" in USA) and not "co.jp" as other search engines.
Infoseek Japan Keywords One of the first American search engines really adapted for Japanese language. Moreover the appearance on the listing of Infoseek is very fast (3 or 4 days). The string on the keyword meta tag should be less than 1000 bytes, i.e. 500 Japanese characters, and that of the description should be less than 160 bytes, i.e. 80 Japanese characters, You cannot submit English only pages. The owner of a US domain such as com, org or net cannot submit directly your pages but ought to send an e-mail specifying the url of the pages to submit. Rakuten, the largest Japanese virtual mall purchased Infoseek Japan in 2000.
Lycos Japan Keywords After having acquired Infoseek Japan, Rakuten acquired Lycons Japan and the database of the 2 Japanese search engines have been merged. So you need no more submit your web pages to Lycos Japan if your site appears already on Infoseek Japan.
MSN search Japan Directory & Keywords Directory listing comes from Looksmart Japan, while keywords listing from Inktomi. Goo having given up Inktomi's SERP, MSN remains his major user while waiting for its adaptation by Yahoo.
Overture Japan Keywords

(PPC engine)

Overture is the largest PPC (pay per click) engine of the world. Its Japanese subsidiary has just opened so you can bet on your favorite keywords if your site has been already translated to Japanese. The minimum initial deposit is at 10,000 yens while the minimum bid is at 35 yens. As its US counterpart, Overture Japan is also partnered with many Japanese search engines to display high ranked listings on their pages, i.e. Yahoo, Goo, Infoseek, Lycos and MSN search.
Excite Japan Keywords After a bankruptcy of the owner of Excite, @Home in September 2001, the majority of shares of Excite have been acquired by a Japanese trading company, Itochu and its database has been replaced by Google's result. So it is no longer necessary to submit your web pages if you have already submitted your web site to Google. The directory listing comes from Looksmart that charges 50,000 yens (without VAT) for an express service.
Dmoz Japan (Open directory project) Directory The role of Dmoz Japan should increase rapidly because nearly all the major American search engines are present now in Japan and they use the listing of Dmoz in their directory listing such as AOl, Google and Netscape open directory as American counterparts. The description of your site should have less than 120 characters. There are no confirmation messages on the acceptance.
Fresh eye Keywords Fresheye is a subsidiary of Toshiba corp. As its name indicates, the index of this search engines contains only newly created or modified sites (more than 10% of modification is required for the latter). Concretely, you submit your site then it will be indexed in 2 to 4 weeks, then Fresheye keeps it in its database only for 1 to 2 months before deleting it. Please note that Fresheye ignores meta tags as most of other Japanese search engines.
Biglobe Keywords Biglobe is a subsidiary of Nec corp. and its keyword listing comes from Google. So you don't need submit your web pages if your site is already listed by Google.


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Last update: June 16, 5009
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