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I am building a multilingual website (from Spanish origins) however there will be English, Chinese, Spanish, and French users.

We are about to buy a domain however I am confused as to what language I should go with...

How does Google go about indexing these things, mainly URLs.

For example if my domain is www.blanco.com would a google search of white display my www.blanco.com?

I have yet to decide what the default language will be. Perhaps I need to work on deciding that first and then choose the domain accordingly. Nevertheless my question still stands.

I am not sure as to which type of user we will see more of.

Thanks.

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2 Answers

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Google searches and indexes multiple languages. There are tons of question on this site about how to organize based on languages (paths, sub-domains, auto-detection, TLDs, etc).

However, it does not search automatically for translated keywords as you suggest. The assumption is that if someone is searching in a language, they will most likely want a page of the same language. In cases where few matches are found, Google does occasionally show pages in different languages but this is not the norm.

Therefore, you need to rank for each language independently. This means you need content in each language, preferable with file-paths that are meaningful in each language. Now, it OK for your domain to be in a single language as this can be seen as your brand. So you can have, for example:

blanco.com
es.blanco.com/carro
en.blanco.com/cars
fr.blanco.com/voiture
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Yes, Google and other search engine spiders will crawl multiple languages. You will want to use unique URLs for each language, however. Usually that's done by including the language code in the URL as a folder or subdomain.

Google also has some advice for providing "alternate" languages of the same page here

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