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How should I structure my urls for both SEO and localization?

I want to have my site available in several different languages. I've seen some sites that use country code top level domains (jp.blah.com), some include the language in the URL ( blah.com/jp/questions ), and some don't even include the language in the URL and just use the browsers locality setting or cookies to determine the language to be displayed. What are the pros and cons of each approach? Are there any techniques that I missed?

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marked as duplicate by Rebecca Chernoff, Kinopiko, Mark Henderson Aug 3 '10 at 4:32

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1 Answer 1

From an SEO perspective, you should definitely use different URLs for each language rather than changing the content dynamically. The search engines will view each translation as a completely different page and there won't be any duplicate content penalty. As for the format of the URL, refer to the answers in the question rchern linked to in his comment.

Also, if you auto-detect the language, make sure that you provide a way for the user to switch to their language of choice. Some multi-lingual users prefer to read content in a language other than their browser's default.

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