I was writing a thread post at Search Engine Watch about how Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have decided having any social event at the Latin SES in Miami is not worth the money, when I started to see a pattern.
I really think these engines are very xenophobic. Okay they have opened some other languages and countries to their mix, but they do not get any where near the attention that the US traffic does.
True, no other country spends as much online - but that is for the moment. The same could be said about the US only a few years ago. Back prior to 2000 the main flow of money on the web was in the porn industry. But buying anything else - by 'real' people - was not a trusted process, many people did not have credit cards and the debit card had not been invented.
The current state of things in most other countries is the same as back then in the US. In South America vendors are starting to add e commerce options for their businesses online. People are starting to get access to debit cards and are willing to buy stuff online. Now as salaries increase and access to the web becomes more prevalent, this swing in the buying power of non-US internet users will be very noticable.
China is a great example. Baidu and Sina have been the front runners and Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are in there trying to make partnership deals.
In Japan, Yahoo does not even own Yahoo Japan - that is part of Soft Bank. Yahoo rules in Japan.... just not the real Yahoo.
Meanwhile, Germany and France have started developing their own search engines... guess it is up to Brazil and one of the Spanish-speaking countries in South America to do the same. The big three are xenophobes... would love to know if Larry or Sergey , the Yahoo boys, or even Bill - a 2007 recipient of the Order of the Aztec Eagle condecoration from the Mexican President - have illegal workers doing their lawns or washing?
Hopefully someone with a deeper insight into the development of population groups and the preferred languages of future internet users will start developing better multilingual search tools and grab the attention of the internet marketing people who know the value of multilingual marketing already.
We are waiting for the rest of the industry to catch up. I attend the Miami SES for this reason.... I want to stay in front of the curve.
As any surfer will tell you that is where the best rides are.