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Which one is better for increasing PageRank:

  1. Hosting multiple websites of different languages and interlink them
  2. Host single website and create multiple language pages and interlink them
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Good question.

If it is a duplicated content, ie, same content, but in another language, I think you should build just one domain, and use a

www.domain.com/en/pageName.html
www.domain.com/fr/pageName.html

structure.

However, if the content changes substantially according to locale, I think it is better use subdomains like:

en.domain.com/pageName.html
fr.domain.com/pageName.html

This because subdomains are proper for claiming a full subsection, with different type of content in they, and this structure improve the indexability for crawlers.

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Host a single website with multiple language packs. If you host multiple different websites with a different language then your PR will be divided between the sites.

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It's also much more work to promote multiple sites, and the PR/trust will not flow across the sites easily enough to compensate for this. – Lèse majesté Nov 3 '10 at 23:30

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