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Let's say I have a site that has multiple versions for different countries, e.g.:

www.example.com/us
www.example.com/uk
www.example.com/ca

and I want to use IP geolocation to redirect users who go to www.example.com to the appropriate country version of the site. What is the best way to do that without confusing crawlers such as Googlebot or running into other SEO type trouble?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Google Webmaster Central has a great blog post discussing this topic: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/03/working-with-multi-regional-websites.html

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Since your site appears to serve country-specific information at different URLs, you could provide a sitemap to help search engines discover them all. Just make sure you don't block access to any countries due to the assumptions you make based on IP. Always give the user (or in this case, Web crawler) the option to choose a different country.

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Yup, there would always be the option to choose a different country. Just want to avoid showing google different versions of the page depending on which country I detect that their crawler is originating from. Was thinking along the lines of a javascript redirect after the page is loaded or something? –  Eric Petroelje Jul 15 '10 at 21:37
    
+1, I travel globally and extensively and REALLY appreciate a very obvious means to change back to English from whatever the geo targeting thinks I can read :) –  Tim Post Jul 19 '10 at 5:31
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You will run into SEO issues because crawler IPs will likely get detected as being from US and won't be able to see the other parts of the website, unless they're linked to somewhere on your website, in which case they will be indexed.

Another idea to consider would be offering a world map or something similar, and letting the user choose for himself and remember his choice through a cookie?

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