Internationalization is the process of designing and implementing a website with flexibility in how it handles language, text, number formatting, and other details that differ by culture. This makes it cheaper and easier to localize a website to different languages and cultures later.

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69
votes
7answers
15k views

How should I structure my URLs for both SEO and localization?

When I set up a site in multiple languages, how should I set up my URLs for search engines and usability? Let's say my site is www.example.com, and I'm translating into French and Spanish. What is ...
21
votes
11answers
2k views

SEO International Websites usage of sub domains and ccTLD domains

Is it better to have separate country specific domains (which costs more money) or sub domains which define the country, for better SEO? e.g. example.com example.com.au example.co.uk vs example....
10
votes
1answer
710 views

Is using optional URL segments bad for SEO?

I have a multilanguage site with urls like this https://example.org/en/ads/2 https://example.org/es/ads/2 https://example.org/it/ads/2 which serve the site in different languages. My site also ...
10
votes
2answers
14k views

International Targeting “no return tags”

Google Webmaster Tools has added an International Targeting Report to show hreflang errors. There's a section that reports "no return tags" errors with Originating URL & Alternate URL columns. ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Value of the HTML5 lang attribute

I'm working on a website which will offer localized content following the language+region approach as described on this W3.org page (e.g. fr-CA for Canadian French content, and fr-FR for "French ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

What countries require a state/province in the mailing address?

I'm creating a form and want to require / hide the state/province field based on the selected country. What countries require a state in the mailing address? For example, the United States does.
8
votes
1answer
5k views

link rel=“alternate”, multiple languages and canonical urls

Context: We've got a website which is available in multiple language versions. However, the content is the same. Each translated version of the site is available on a distinct subdomain. On some ...
7
votes
2answers
515 views

Is having a landing page for multi-country websites detrimental for search engine ranking?

I have a multi-language / multi-country website which uses a single domain name. The url structure is as follows: country-name.example.com/language/ Ex: ca.example.com/en/ ca.example.com/fr/ uk....
6
votes
4answers
297 views

SEO consequences for merging country sites in a .com

I am in the process of refactoring a number of rental portals I've built for a company with locations in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Instead of the current setting of each ...
6
votes
3answers
169 views

How to handle SEO for brand that has a special character in the name

I am building a website (small online retail store) for a company whose brand name has a special character in it. The name of the brand is actually a legitimate Polish word that has an Ł, which is an ...
6
votes
3answers
120 views

How to deal with yet-to-be-translated, placeholder content on a multi-language site?

I'm working on a site where we have many different languages (about 24). When a content piece is authored in English, it is automatically copied to all language sites where it will be later translated ...
6
votes
2answers
55 views

Multi country redirect working with google

I have company.com, us.company.com and ca.company.com, all using the same language, however, displaying different content e.g. pricing, imagery and text I want the site to be displayed in Google as ...
5
votes
2answers
261 views

Should slug (SEO/user friendly URLs) contain only English letters?

Can I create slug with unicode letters since all the major browsers support unicode urls (so it won't be transformed into the utf8 equivalent), or should I always use English letters? For example: If ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

I18n website and URL prefix iso639

I'm adding i18n to my website. For translated pages I add iso639 code of the language like this: http://example.com/en/mypage.php But I'm curious about language code. Should I use iso639-1 (en) or ...
5
votes
1answer
378 views

Google Transliterator (input tools) is not suggesting words as typed when used on my site

I want a transliterator (Google's) to be embedded in my site. I tried embedding it and I mostly succeeded. It is showing translations, but all of them for a word typed one letter at a time like it ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I compile an IP address to country lookup database to make available for free?

How would I go about compiling an accurate database of IP addresses and their related countries to make available as an open source download for any web developer who wants to perform a geographic IP ...
4
votes
3answers
291 views

How to use the canonical tag for multiregion websites and duplicate content

We want to use the canonical tag for an multiple region website with the same content. For Example: www.example.com/services.htm www.example.com/uk/services.htm Then if we use the canonical tag ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Redirect based on country

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

SEO implications of having multiple languages available at same URL

I am in the process of translating a set of websites to multiple languages. Would there be any negative implications if I were to serve each different language from identical URLs? I fully intend to ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

Should I transliterate my URL paths?

I looked around and can't find any info on this, I must be searching the wrong terms or something because it must be a common question. If you have non-ASCII characters in your URLs, Firefox and ...
4
votes
4answers
138 views

How can I view localized versions of my site?

We are adding internationalization to our site. We are getting the client's IP address from the headers and looking it up against the IP2location database to get the client's country. Several of ...
4
votes
2answers
43 views

Indexing internationalized pages

I've noticed that many websites use different URLs for different languages, e.g. de.wikipedia.org. I thought that was the entire purpose of existance for the Accept-Language HTTP header. It would be ...
3
votes
2answers
38 views

How can a two language page (about learning a language) be optimized for search engines?

I know that there are lots of docs about multi-languages website, but still cannot find a solution for my problem: I'm building a website to help people to learn Italian. The site contains pages with ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

Can you use the ccTLD for sub-directories when geotargeting?

I know when targeting a specific country or region the best way to do it with the the ccTLD. But if you choose the sub-directory route, should those sub-directories be named the same way you would use ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Separate URLs for localised content

Should pages which are almost identical, bar a few minor changes for particular locations, share the same URL? I am not talking of pages in different languages, but pages which have minor differences ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

Is defining an hreflang sufficient to avoid duplicate content penalties between US and UK sites with nearly identical content?

A client we work with has two online stores - a US version and a UK version, under separate domains. These stores have the same content and provide the same products, they're intended to be alternate ...
3
votes
2answers
48 views

How can I target specific countries with global site under gTLD using sub-directory for each targeted country?

We're building a global platform for a large client who want a range of sites targeting different countries all hosted under a single gTLD, so domain.com/uk will be a UK-specific site, domain.com/fr ...
3
votes
2answers
276 views

Will Googlebot have trouble crawling a site if we have such international redirects based on location and cookie?

So, we have an international site with multiple subdomains for each language. We have hreflang markup in place (+ sitemaps), but we also detect where users come from and redirect them to appropriate ...
3
votes
1answer
27 views

How to SEO pages with adaptively loaded alternative language on same URL?

So, when each page has content on it's own language we use HREFLANG attributes and it's all fine. But now, if I build a page in English but if user picks to display it in another language, I won't ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Which domain better for language version?

My company is based in Russia and it's website is mycompany.ru. Now, we are planning to launch German language version and we have option for two domains: mycompany.de germankeyword.ru Which one ...
3
votes
1answer
283 views

SEO & Multilingual: would be this a good practise?

I am currently making a bilingual website and I'd like to get nice SEO results of course. Here's my idea: The internal links would be composed of the "www" subdomain so that people can share links ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Translate URL query parameters

Just like it is always advisable to translate URL parts in order to internationalize a web site, is there any recommendation (W3C or such) regarding the translation of URL parameters (query strings)? ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

Content language different to menu language and SEO

I have built a website for a client following Google's multi-language website guide. It allows to create a project (tutorial) in a user specified language. Depending on the project language the URL ...
3
votes
1answer
606 views

Can .htaccess 301 redirects work with encoded characters?

I have an old site with titles in the URL for SEO, but it has URL encoded characters than transliterated Latin characters. Like %20 instead of space character and many other non-Latin characters. The ...
3
votes
1answer
345 views

Can I have HTML link element both in headers and sitemap?

For a multilingual site In my sitemap I am using: <url> <loc>http://www.xxxx/en</loc> <changefreq>daily</changefreq> <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Test different timezones

What is a simple way to temporarily change the timezone in Chrome so as to test how a site renders for different locations? On OSX Mountain Lion, I've tried as bash script with: export TZ='Indian/...
3
votes
2answers
482 views

Will duplicate international (i18n) content hinder SEO rankings?

Google clearly states that duplicate content within a single, or multiple, domains is not advised. This is understood, but I am not sure of any exceptions for sites with region-specific content that ...
3
votes
2answers
284 views

Localized CAPTCHA

What are effective CAPTCHA solutions that can have localized description, and CAPTCHA text itself is either language-neutral, or can be localized (for Polish language)? It is to be used to protect a ...
3
votes
1answer
225 views

Multilingual Publishing Pack (MLP): make a link to the corresponding page in the another language?

I am helping to build a bilingual website using MLP on TextPattern. It's trivial to put a link to the top level page of another language, but how to put a link to the current page in another language? ...
3
votes
0answers
26 views

Multi-country redirection where US is not the main site and it's SEO implications

We run a custom built e-commerce platform. We started in Canada and our main site was thus built to serve canadian buyers. When we expanded into the US, we added a /us sub-folder as an identifier. We ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Google webmaster International targeting “United States” will it work for SEO?

I have started a brand new website. Basically, It will be product review base website. I will promote Amazon products on that website. After little experiment, I have found that, if US people buy 15 ...
3
votes
0answers
118 views

How to translate Umlauts and other International characters to US character set? [closed]

Is there a "translation table" that shows how International characters map to the US character set. For example, German umlauts can be translated like: ä = ae ö = oe ü = ue or French characters ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Website localization when using the same domain

I'm thinking of a website which is basically the following: users can push some pins on a map with some text and additional information regarding the location they are pinning other users can see ...
2
votes
1answer
197 views

Google sitemap HrefLang tag without the main site url

We have websites with multilingual content. e.g. http://www.example.com/about-us/ http://www.example.com/en-HK/about-us/ http://www.example.com/en-GB/about-us/ http://www.example.com/zn-...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Hreflang or geotargeting?

I have a client who wishes to target various subfolders to every region that speaks the language each particular subfolder is written in. The subfolders are all translations of the English version. ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Patterns for creating a Language Switcher?

I'm a big fan of the book The Design Of Sites which has patterns for diverse things needed in webmastering and site design. However the topic about translation, localization and internationalization ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

Chinese CAPTCHAs

I need to implement a CAPTCHA for a Chinese (Simplified) website. Does anyone know how CAPTCHAs are normally presented on Chinese sites? I have seen some which just display standard decimal numbers ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

How do I write IDN domains?

How do I write a IDN domain name with IDN codes? E.g. mjölk.com with IDN codes? (mjölk is milk in swedish) And is there any list of available IDN codes and letters? E.g. all possible for .com ?
2
votes
2answers
244 views

When the page language can be determined by the browser settings, which URLs should go into sitemaps?

At this moment our website both uses the language in the url like "en" and localizes the url itself ("books" in english and "boeken" in dutch). Because of the history of making our website ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

I have a website with two languages. Should I use a Keyword strategy for each language?

My website has two languages and different URLs for each language. The site is about learning English but the company is Spanish (and located in Spain). We also sell online courses for English ...