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I have a multilingual site with only one domain www.mydomain.com, this domain serves content in English and Norwegian. And language is handled using a server side session parameter, which is triggered by a click on a button on my website.

My problem is that Google only find and index my English version of the website, and not the Norwegian part of it. After looking for a solution I came over this post on Google: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=182192

From what I read there, it looks like I can't use sessions to control language, and that I should use one of these solutions:

  • en.domain.com - no.domain.com

  • www.domain.com/en - www.domain.com/no

  • www.domain.com - www.domain.no

Is this true, or is it possible to get Google to index my Norwegian and English content by using my session parameter?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You need to give the translated versions separate URLs if you want Google to index them. From Google's "Working with multilingual websites" blog post:

To make all of your site's content more crawlable, avoid automatic redirections based on the user's perceived language. These redirections could prevent users (and search engines) from viewing all the versions of your site.

And last but not least, keep the content for each language on separate URLs - don't use cookies [or sessions] to show translated versions.

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You may also want to add rel=alternate links to cross-link the translated pages. However, do not use rel=canonical in a situation like this; that's for when you have the same content on multiple pages, with only the navigation boilerplate translated. – Ilmari Karonen Feb 8 '12 at 15:43
Thanx for your answer, guess that concludes it, and I need to change my url's. No workaround for my session controlled site :P – Martin Feb 13 '12 at 12:10

Try to insert this in to the Norwegian site's header :

<meta name="language" content="norwegian">



<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="no">


I would do both. Just in case. and Put the English one in to...

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-1: Google has stated that they effectively ignore these meta values - google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/… and support.google.com/webmasters/bin/… – Mike Hudson Feb 9 '12 at 22:47

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