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I'm building an online store that will be supported in 3 languages: English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese.

My question is whether or not it is a good idea to make language specific URLs for SEO purposes. So if I'm viewing the site in english, the urls on the product page are in english, but if I view the site in traditional chinese, then the urls are written in traditional chinese.

E.g.
www.mysite.com/items/1/blue_cup (english)
www.mysite.com/xxxxx/1/xxxxxxxx (traditional chinese)
www.mysite.com/yyyyy/1/yyyyyyyy (simplified chinese)

EDIT
I should note that this is a site primarily built for a Traditional Chinese speaking country so it should cater towards that audience and their dominant search engine: Yahoo

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 11 '10 at 13:10

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I think this is more appropriate on Webmasters.SE. Migrating this right now. –  Yi Jiang Nov 11 '10 at 4:05
    
Sounds good. Where can the question be found on Webmasters SE? I don't see it over there. –  justinl Nov 11 '10 at 5:01
    
@justinl It's a slow day - three more votes are needed to migrate. Alternatively, you can delete this one and open a new one there, or flag for mod attention and hope there's someone watching to migrate this immediately –  Yi Jiang Nov 11 '10 at 8:26

1 Answer 1

For English page, www.mysite.com/items/1/blue_cup is a great idea. You definitely got leverage regarding to SEO should you put keywords in it, and I just can not see any reason not do it.

However, for Chinese pages, it does not make any sense to put Chinese in URL, be it traditional or simplified. Do you want to make it like this?

www.mysite.com/商品/1/蓝_杯子?or

www.mysite.com/shangping/1/lan_beizi?(This looks good though, yet I do not believe search engines care those sort of keywords.)

They way most of web site do are putting keywords in English page url, but using numerical or other code in Chines url. Easy to maintain database, and looks not so awkward. In terms of Chinese page SEO, you need to find other ways.

Just a thought. Hope it helps you a bit.

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Both of your examples (kanji and pinyin) are legitimate options that I was thinking of. I just wasn't sure if that's something that people are starting to do AND/OR if it's actually effective for SEO or not really. Are english keywords really effective in a country that's not using english as their primary language? I'm imagining a lot of the clientele doesn't know english so they would not be searching in english but I could be wrong. Perhaps a better question for me to post on Webmasters SE is "How do asian search engines work?" –  justinl Nov 11 '10 at 11:23
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ps - I'm just curious why you say it does not make any sense to put chinese into a URL (www.mysite.com/商品/1/蓝_杯子). Does it not read clearer for a person who reads/writes chinese? –  justinl Nov 11 '10 at 11:25

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