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Imagine situation where multiple aliases point to the same server, where htacces divides them into their own language folders.

Example:  
mywebsite.fr >> /fr/home  
mywebsite.de >> /de/home  
mywebsite.it >> /it/home  
about seven more domains... 

Possible options to maintain in terms of SEO:

  1. Dont do anything, let the different versions of home sit on their own alias.

  2. Set a canonical for each page 1 and the same master url no matter what alias you are at, the canonical reads: website.com/fr/home website.com/it/home or website.com/de/home etc

  3. let all domains permanent redirect to master url (website.com together with their language folders set. so
    website.fr >301> website.com/fr/home website.de >301> website.com/de/home etc.

  4. ([please suggest & I will update it here)

Questions that come to Mind: Which one is best for PageRank? Which one will focus the PageRank into one domain? Which one will cause spread? Is Canonical used properly for 2.? Thanks! all comments are valued greatly.

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Don't let the siren's buzzword "PageRank" allure you away from what your real goal probably is: to rank well for keywords. –  Dobry Den Dec 22 '10 at 15:01
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

None of the above. PR is per page, not per site or per directory or URL structure, etc. Each page's PR is determined using the PR formula which is based on link popularity.

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Interesting comment indeed. Can you provide any reference to emburse that? –  Dave Dec 22 '10 at 13:29
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Google's PageRank formula is published. It's easy to find. –  John Conde Dec 22 '10 at 14:10
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Yes, you are correct. –  John Conde Dec 22 '10 at 16:32
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@Sam, I think you need to clarify what you mean by 'pagerank' - do you mean Google's PageRank™ value (a number from 0-10 based on the number of links to a page), or search engine ranking (where you appear for certain keywords in search results)?? –  DisgruntledGoat Dec 22 '10 at 21:08
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@Sam really there is only one "PageRank" (as one word) and that is Google's trademark algorithm. Other search engines may have a similar section to their algorithms but it's not published. The other "page rank" usually refers to a page's position in search results. PageRank itself does not solely determine where a site will come in search results, there are 200+ other factors. –  DisgruntledGoat Dec 23 '10 at 11:17
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They are all equally a bad approach for building PR.

The problem is that each page gets it's own PR, which dilutes the total PR given to your site.

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1  
PR is not a site wide phenomena. It's per page only. And since they control all of the potential sites listed in their example interlinking between them is not going to hurt them at all since PR will "flow" between pages they wish to rank well. The hub & spoke model is a good example of this. –  John Conde Dec 22 '10 at 15:55
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Anyone who does this stuff knows that PR is per page. But it DOES hurt them because it dilutes their PR. If all incoming links were to the same page, that page would have a much higher PR than any page would if the same number of links were spread out among several pages. The difference could be a page at the top of Google's results vs. several pages appearing lower down in the results. That's how it hurts them. –  Jonathan Wood Dec 22 '10 at 17:11
    
+1 on both comment and answer Johnathan. Although John is right too (seems from the Wikipage) the mathematical fact remains that the NUMBER of inbound links to (any) given page rises when variations (even for language differences????) are "thrown into one heap". That does give a penalty for userfriendlyness though, Jonathan, as a Japanese user searching in Japanese text for French Kiss Tips then would expect to arrive on the Japanese version of that page, but instead he(more likely she) is directed to the original French page, from where then she needs to navigate to japanese version... hmmm –  Sam Dec 23 '10 at 8:19
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