Yahoo! Japan Search Awards 2018

What are the Yahoo! Japan Search Awards? 

Each year, Yahoo! Japan recognizes celebrities and businesses in various award categories for achieving significant search volumes for related keywords. The successful keywords in each category show the significant social impact of search terms and the reciprocal nature of what people search for online and what they’re interested in offline.

Although the Yahoo! Japan Search Awards don’t release search volume (SV) numbers, it’s still interesting to see the most successful keywords used in each nomination.

For example, “Monster Hunter: World” was awarded in the gaming categoryIn this case, Japanese searchers looked for complementary gaming information, such as strategy to complete the game, review of the game to consider purchasing the product, and weapons inventory for gaming experience. 

Yahoo Japan Search Awards 2018: Monster Hunter World

(Gaming Award: Monster Hunter World)

As a digital marketing specialist, you can benefit from understanding these types of search trends in your content optimization and keyword research in Japan.

To give some insight on Japanese search trends, we’ve put together an article on the key takeways from Yahoo! Japan Search Awards 2018.

Actress and Model Winners

Yahoo Japan Search Awards 2018: Imada Mio

(Actress Award: Imada Mio)

Yahoo Japan Search Awards 2018: Kiko

(Actress Award: Koki)

Imada Mio, who became a well-known actress from a popular TV series “Hananochihare,” was awarded in the actress category, while a 15-year-old international model named Koki was awarded in the model category. With many appearances in magazines and on TV, both female celebrities had common keyword combinations related to images, such as “Instagram.”

If you have the budget to run marketing activities that targets females in the 20-30 age group, Instagram may be the best tool to grow your business. As user rates continue to increase in Japan, other local platforms, such as “WEAR” (a fashion coordination site) and C-Channel (a collection of video fashion magazines), may not have as much impact as the photo-sharing giant that is Instagram.

According to We Love Social, Instagram can provide one of the best interaction rates compared to other social media platforms in Japan. If you’re promoting a product that matches the demographics, Instagram is an effective tool.

Sports-Related Winners

Yahoo Japan Search Awards 2018: Hanyu Yuzuru

(Athlete Award: Hanyu Yuzuru)

It’s common for athletes to be nominated if they have achieved a medal or a trophy in sporting events. Hanyu Yuzuru (a figure skater) was selected for the 2nd year in a row after being awarded the National Honor Award by the prime minister of Japan this year.

As straightforward as it sounds, the most popular keyword combination was related to his achievements, such as “Olympics,” “parade,” and “National Honor Award.”


Yahoo Japan Search Awards 2018: Osaka Naomi

(Special Award: Osaka Naomi)

However, the results were different for Osaka Naomi, a professional tennis player who has a unique personality. During interviews, she is well-received and -liked not only because of her success in tennis but also because of her sense of humor and personability.

As such, her keyword combination differed from Hanyu Yuzuru. She attained sponsorship from Nissan, hence the car “GTR” was a popular search term for her. And her humorous interactions in interviews attracted users to search with the specific term “interview.”

The Google Ads Keyword Planner showed a 2,368% increase in search volume for the term “Osaka Naomi Interview” from August to September 2018.

If you’re a content writer, having knowledge on recent events can help you target keywords that may boost the overall traffic to your website. For example, IBM acquired Red Hat in October 2018, which increased its search volume by 36%. Hence, if your blog article is related to software, using the term “IBM Red Hat” and writing content on the acquisition may boost traffic to your website.

Dessert Winner

Yahoo Japan Search Awards 2018: Akai-Sairo

(Dessert Award: Akai-Sairo)

Cheesecake made by Seigetsu from the Hokkaido Prefecture (a northern region of Japan) won in the dessert category this year. Interestingly, this cheesecake became well-known after the Japanese national curling team enjoyed the dessert during their match break while being broadcast on national TV in the Pyeong Chang Olympics.

One of the most popular keyword combinations for the cheesecake, which is called “Akai-Sairo,” was “Mogu-Mogu time,” which is a mimetic word for eating. Based on the Google Ads Keyword Planner, this keyword search volume increased by approximately 960% from January to February 2018.

Some keywords are impossible to find if you’re not aware of current events and trends in Japan. If you’re running an ad related to dessert, you can bid on this mimetic keyword as users may be looking for something sweet to eat.

In Conclusion

The Yahoo! Japan Search Awards provide quality information to look back at the recent events that significantly impacted Japanese searchers. The results can trigger ideas when looking for new keywords to implement in your digital marketing activities for Japan.

So, when optimizing campaigns for a Japanese market, it’s always good to understand current trends and news to attain the best outcome for your marketing efforts.

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