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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62
votes
7answers
13k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
8k 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
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
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
4k 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
302 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/ ...
6
votes
3answers
109 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
1answer
331 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
137 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
81 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 ...
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
4answers
279 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
286 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
187 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
137 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
42 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
139 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
2answers
27 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
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 ...
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
276 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
85 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
1answer
463 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
322 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
453 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
282 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
222 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
1answer
31 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
116 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
97 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
2answers
102 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
176 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/ ...
2
votes
1answer
195 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
155 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
118 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
106 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
214 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
47 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Does Mediawiki need to be installed twice to support a second website in another language?

I have a wiki which has English as the default language. Now I want the same wiki in "Malayalam". I already have the translated contents with me. How do I achieve this? Should I create a sub-domain? ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Incorrect rel-alternate-hreflang implementation

Google Webmaster Tools advised the following to us: We have noticed that on a number of the pages on your site the rel-alternate-hreflang implementation is incorrect. In particular, there ...
2
votes
1answer
495 views

How do I make dotCMS pick up the preferred language from the browser's settings?

I have a bilingual dotCMS site. Switching between languages with the pulldown at the top of the page works great, but the default language is always English (or whatever else I configure). I'd much ...
2
votes
2answers
490 views

A JavaScript Rich Editor That Doesn't Convert Non-ASCII Text to Character Entities?

I am working on a site for Spanish speakers, and I am looking for a UTF-8 enabled JavaScript Rich Text Editor that preserves non-ascii characters as text, instead of entity encoding. That is, when I ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

English content on International page templates: how to mark it up with lang=“” attributes?

So, I have translated page templates to various languages so it's easier for users to pick their language for easier navigating and understanding the site. The pages have similar markup to this ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Google showing snippets from the corresponding English page when the search and page are in Dutch

I have a website that is in two languages, English and Dutch. The URL structure is the following; domain is like mydomain.nl and and English page has URL mydomain.nl/en/pagename and Dutch has ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Geotargeting rel alternate - how to launch an international site?

Hoping you can help me out with some best practice here. I run an Aussie based job board called the Backpacker Job Board. The site ranks really well and has plenty of traffic. I want to launch a New ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Combining hreflang links, canonical tags and xml:lang on multilingual, multiregional and multi-subdomains websites?

I have a multilingual and multiregional (using different subdomains) website and I'm not sure how to handle those 3 elements. To summarize here are the hreflang links that I generate on each page ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I choose two geographic target countries for my website?

I have a website, the main target audience from two countries. In the Google Webmaster Tools you just can choose one location. Do I need to do something or just leave it alone?