۞ from Central Europe to the web ۞

tales from the central european web

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Blogger Interface in Hungarian

Hungarian users firing up their browsers today could spot a new text ad on Google.hu: 

Újdonság: Legyen blogja pár perc alatt. (New: create your blog in a few minutes)

Once you clicked on the link you got to the Blogger home page in Hungarian:

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Portuguese Public Service Ads

A little bit offtopic, but here's a list of the Portuguese PSAs:

Curiosidades Google

Qual foi o primeiro computador do mundo?
Pesquise e descubra no Google:
jacquard computador Babbage

De onde veio Pégaso?
Saiba mais sobre o cavalo alado. Pesquise a mitologia grega no Google:
Pégaso Medusa

Qual é o ponto mais baixo da terra?
ponto mais baixo da terra

Quando os dinossauros viveram?
Por que eles desapareceram? Aprenda no Google
Dinossauros Era extinção

Qual é a temperatura do sol?
temperatura do sol

Como são produzidas as células vermelhas?
fabricacao celulas vermelhas

Qual a estrela mais próxima da Terra?
Descubra com o Google:
"sistema solar" Sol distância Terra

Qual a profundidade do oceano?
O ponto mais baixo da Terra é... Descubra a resposta no Google.
oceano profundidade ponto mais baixo

Quem ganhou o Prêmio Nobel da Paz em 1996?
Descubra a resposta no Google:
Ganhadores "Premio Nobel da Paz" 1996

O que é a Teoria da Relatividade?
Quem a desenvolveu? Pesquise e descubra:
física relatividade Einstein

Como o bicho-preguiça dorme?
Onde ele mora? Aprenda sobre a fauna no Google.
bicho-preguiça dorme?

Quantas línguas existem no mundo?
Clique aqui para descobrir.
"idiomas falados" mundo extinção

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Some Things Hungarian Webmasters Hate about AdSense

Today Google has officially announced the availability of its AdSense for Content program for some new languages like Croatian, Czech, Slovak, and Traditional Chinese, so maybe it can be interesting to sum up what were the most annoying problems for Hungarian webmasters during the last one and a half year – since they can have contextual Ads on their sites. (AdSense for Search has been available in Hungarian for two years, while AdSense for Content was introduced about one and a half year ago.) One of my sites has the biggest and the most active AdSense Forum on the Hungarian web, so this article is based on the feedback posted on this site. Please note that the problems described here reflect the opinion of those who were discontent enough to complain on my site (perhaps the majority of Hungarian webmasters are totally satisfied, who knows).

Localisation issues

The web interface and the help pages of AdSense accounts are far from being complete and they are full of typos, grammatical errors and improper translations. Obviously somebody got the dictionary in a spreadsheet, quickly filled in the missing fields and posted it without having the time or the chance to double-check on the live site. (If you visit https://www.google.com/adsense/?hl=hu at the time of writing you will see "E-mail (e-DM)" at the first field of the login box. What should that mean in this context? )
For instance when the English interface said "you can earn up to 1 dollar", the Hungarian version just stated "you can earn 1 dollar". Also the Program Policies stated that you can place only one Referral Button on each page, but in the English version and at other places on the administration interface it was written that you can place one button from each type.
Well if it had been just about problems only AdSense webmasters can come across, then it would have been less annoying, but sometimes the ads are displayed can also make you smile (or cry). For example when they just left a Finnish word at the end of an AdSense Referral Button text: they offered it for months before finally the problem was resolved. The situation is just slightly better now: when you read through those Referral Buttons they seem to be so poorly worded that it makes you start wondering: "How come that they don't have a native person there who has attended at least one course at the university which had to do something with marketing/marketing messages?"

Small market, small earnings

OK, this is rather the problem of the market than Google's fault, but even so it won't make you satisfied with your earnings (which are reported considerably lower than you could earn with English web pages). Also Google doesn't offer as many Referral buttons as in bigger markets, and the referral earnings can be also lower. But still AdSense can generate considerably bigger income than its Hungarian competitors, so virtually you don't have other choice.

Electronic Funds Transfer

Waiting for a check to arrive someday from a remote country (US) and trying to take it to the bank where your check will be accepted and you'll have to pay the least fees is not so pleasant, even if you know that there are much bigger countries where EFT is still to be introduced. Anyhow Hungary is an EU member, and this should make things simpler when it comes to sending money to an other country from Ireland for instance. Google has silently made the Electronic Funds Transfer option available for some Hungarian customers way back in October, and let those users add and verify their bank accounts with a nominal transfer, but when the next payment deadline was close, the happy webmasters had to realise that someone has changed their settings back to the Check option, without any warning. Those webmasters who spotted it and insisted on the Electronic transfer option simply missed the train that month, and had to wait for the next month to have their checks issued. Since then EFT has been introduced officially in Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia and Israel though.

AdSense Account Banned due to Invalid Clicks

Regular visitors of my site have seen a new phenomenon recently, mostly at the beginning of the month. Just before the payments are to be issued, some desperate webmasters show up complaining that his/her account has been banned due to invalid clicks although they stated that they have not cheated at all. Mostly – as I mentioned – this would happen right before the webmaster reached the 100 dollar treshold, and was about to be entitled for a payment. So far nobody has reported that the account was banned months after the first payment was issued, but a few of them stated that they received the check and the notification about the Account Termination almost at the same time. Maybe we shouldn't trust these webmasters, maybe we shouldn't beleive they was not cheating at all, but the growing number of complaints is an undisputable fact. What disappoints these banned webmasters the most that they feel they are automatically rejected without having the chance to have a human being revised their appeal at all. One of the banned webmasters even tried to register with the same name and with the same sites, but right before their earnings were approaching the $100 limit for the second time he was banned again. Most likely these anomalies can happen only because the accounts will be revised by Googlers (and not by robots) only if the earnings are close to the limit.

What are the Possible Reasons?

The above examples showed that the way AdSense handles its Hungarian customers is far from being satisfactory. But shouldn't the Google brand mean a certain quality level?
Well, the Hungarian market is small, the internet penetration is not the highest at all, therefore the Internet culture is low, advertisers are not willing to pay that much and yes, many webpages displaying these ads are low in quality too. You can also easily spot webmasters obviously cheating with ads, encouraging visitors to click, etc. All in all, maybe these kind of markets are not the most lucrative ones, and it's not worth investing money in them (paying for more support personell, etc.) but what should we expect in Croatia, Czech Republic and Slovakia then?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Short overview of Czech internet market

Czech internet is as small and still unimportant as the Czech Republic is. Among other Middle-European markets it has one specifity. Czech internet is pretty much isolated and most key services are provided by Czech companies. Czechia and Russia are the only European countries where local search engine has highest share than Google. Usage of all other non-Czech services is low among "mainstream users" (in Czech internet jargon they are called BFU = Bloody Fucking Users, or Blbý Franta Uživatel). Let´s take a look at most important kind of services and share of most important providers.

Search Engines

For research we could use NetMonitor - official monitoring of visits using cookies. Its statistics are pretty accurate. However, if we want to find more about share of search engines, this source is not the best, there are better ways how to get required numbers. Probably the best source - although not perfect, of course - are refferals from Toplist.cz, kind of Google Analytics for mainly smaller sites. Aggregated stats in graph you can find at vyhledavace.chose.cz. Although stats for Google are divided into separate numbers for google.cz, google.com, google.sk etc., from first look you can see the dominance of Seznam - the biggest Czech portal. Its share is around 38 % (of all refferals problably - not only search engines refferals), Google has around 14 %, smaller Czech portal Centrum has around 2,5 %. Numbers for another portal - Atlas - seems senseless, it should have around 1-2 %.

Portal packs

More information could be get from graphs which I made for my article at Czech IT webzine Lupa.cz. I think that it´s not necessary to comment them widely, but I should explain what they show. In each segment I used two graph - one for UV (unique visitors), one for PV (page views). Graphs I used to find out changes of market lay-out in past year, so there are only few chosen website ni comparison (but all important) and total is always 100 %. I used datas from NetMonitor, some servers joined that system lately so the graphs are "strange" in first part (that explain the "steps"). Numbers are for period of month. So firstly pack stats for all services of main providers together.

As you can see, Seznam is absolutely dominant. Second is Centrum, third and fourth Atlas and iDnes. iDnes is mostly "only" news portal.


These graphs are interesting because they shows numbers of only four single pages, homapages of the four biggest Czech portals. That means that they are pretty accurate, without any "magic with numbers".


The most innovative segment of Czech internet were online maps, this year.


Number of users of Yahoo Mail or Hotmail is very low in Czechia, some people use Gmail, but no numbers available. I expect 5 % share of Gmail at very maximum.


These graphs are almost worthless, all portals bundles different things into their "news packs" so you have no chance to compare them exactly. Novinky is news magazine of Seznam, Zprávy is owned by iDnes (it´s a website of second Czech newspaper owned by owner of iDnes).

Social networks

About social networks there is one interesting issue. It´s the only segment where Seznam is not absolutely dominant. Formerly leader Xchat (owned by Centrum) is continuously decreasing and Atlas is almost inactive in that area. But independent social network Líbímseti is rapidly growing and it´s possible that it could even surpass Seznam´s Lidé.

So consider this spot as my introduction. From time to time I would like to publish here some (in my view) interesting things about Czech internet. I must express thanks to József that he allowed my to use for it his blog. And - of course :-) - excuse my English.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hungarian Google is a bit funky today

This morning when I've fired up my browser, I've seen the following (my homepage is google.hu ):

As you can see two words are overlapping right below the Google logo: magyar stands for Hungarian, and Magyarország means Hungary...

Basically there were always two different Hungarian interfaces: Google magyar, which can be accessed at http://www.google.com/intl/hu/ and Google Magyarország which could be reached at google.co.hu nowadays redirecting to http://google.hu.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Electronic Funds Transfer Available to Hungarian AdSense Users

Update: It seems that the introduction of EFT for Hungarian users has been postponed for some reason. (Althought it has been recently announced that users from the Czech Rebublic, Slovakia and Finnland can enjoy the benefits of this.)

A new function went live on the Hungarian AdSense admin interface yesterday: now users residing in Hungary can also opt for Electronic Funds Transfer: Google will transfer AdSense earnings in Hungarian Forints to the chosen accounts.

There has been no official announcement yet, and Hungary is still not listed among the supported countries in AdSense Help Center though.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hungarian Search Engine Market Overview

Just as last year I have picked some website statistics and examined which search engines and directory sites are forwarding the most visitors to Hungarian pages. This time I have analyzed 50 randomly selected web sites. The results are based on 2006. July traffic data: the examined websites have registered 909.471 visitors during that month.

Google 62.71 %
25.16 %
7.41 %
1.43 %
0.74 %
0.68 %
0.68 %
0.40 %
MSN Search
0.38 %
0.30 %
0.20 %

Google dominates the market

The above graph clearly shows that Google is the market leader in Hungary. The second site, lap.hu is a link directory so this makes even bigger the difference between Google and its competitors.

What changed since last year?

Last year's analysis was made using different set of websites, so the results shouldn't be compared one-on-one. What is still clear that the most remarkable change is that kurzor.hu (having lost traffic coming from google.hu) have had much worse positions this July, it has been overtaken by vizsla24.hu and tango.hu the newest search engine launched this year, while other players have maintained their positions.

Dennis Woodside interviews

google.hu now points to Google Magyarország (Google Hungary) instead of redirecting to google.com, so Dennis Woodside (Director of Emerging Markets, EMEA) gives interviews:

gugli.wordpress.com - Some of Google’s steps and challenges in emerging markets: Hungary

index.hu - Google started pushing forward in Hungary (this is only available in Hungarian though)