I’m not French Canadian; I’m English-Montreal Canadian. Born and raised in a city with a large French Canadian population, Montreal’s culture feels more European than it is similar to any other Canadian or American city. I would go to school in the morning and kiss my friends on both cheeks. We’d go for coffee every day after school. A social and laid back environment was the norm. Working from 9am to 5pm literally meant that people went home at 5pm.
After reading this article about French Canadian search behavior, several questions popped into my mind.
First of all, no matter what culture you come from–and no matter what language you speak–if you’re going to get relevant results from search engine, you’ve got to use words that describe your motivations and intent. So, I wouldn’t expect that French Canadians would use more or less words in a search engine when performing a search.
Still, 85% of respondents described that they were satisfied with the primary search results. Knowing the French Canadian culture, I know that people would be much more relaxed about their expectations. Therefore, no matter what the search results were, they would likely be satisfied. Maybe not ecstatic, but satisfied. It’s just very laid back and there’s little reason to disagree or be unsatisfied. It’s sometimes entertaining to go for dinner with Americans in Montreal because the service seems horrible. You wait for a long time for a table and then you get little to no attention from your waiter!
My hunch is that French Canadians are experiencing the same problems online that most of us are experiencing. I’d even go out on a limb and make the assumption that they might even have a worse experience due to the fact that there are limited French websites that can provide them with the answers to their questions, whereas we have a much larger pool of English websites that the search engine spiders are crawling through to find the most relevant results for our search.
What are your thoughts?