Why are some of Google’s products not available outside of the US?

Why are some of Google’s products not available outside of the US? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Today’s question comes from Obscure David in the UK. And the question is, why is Google so US-centric in its web posts and its rollouts? I’m absolutely sympathetic to this. The fact is, I think Google has one of the most internationalized web sites in the world. We’re available in something like 100 different languages. But trying to be available in every language, in every country, in every market is really, really hard. Sometimes there are data signals or sources that you can’t easily find in other countries. Sometimes certification or laws or copyrights can make things more complicated. So Google eBooks, releasing a new phone, all of these kinds of things– Google Voice– they can be really tricky to get right because every single country is different. And while we absolutely want to be in as many countries as possible, sometimes those things can be really hard to figure out exactly what certifications do you need. How do you get the relevant copyright agencies involved so that they know that things are in the right shape. So when it’s just building web pages or building simple products, we’re relatively good about that. But I would certainly agree that we can pay a lot more attention to even trying not to be US-centric in our web posts. Whenever we were looking at feedback, we were finding that we were getting feedback a lot more about English than other languages. And so we’re trying to look a little deeper to find feedback to improve our search quality in other languages as well. So we do put a lot of work into trying to be international. Over half of our traffic comes from outside the United States– well over half, in fact. But nonetheless it is in many cases tricky because if you’re trying to do something like Google Transit or things to find public transportation, a lot of the times it involves a lot of cycles where individual engineers and individual offices have to figure out, how am I going to get that subway schedule? How can I find out where that source of data is available? And it sometimes just takes a lot of time and work and effort. We definitely have a goal to internationalize as much as we can. So thanks for that question and definitely keep poking us and we’ll try to get better at it over time as well.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


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