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51

There are many acceptable ways to structure your site for both SEO and internationalization. Each have advantages and disadvantages. Top Level Domains Buy the same domain name at multiple top level country domains like example.com, example.es and example.de. Advantages Fully supported by Google. You can add the sites to Google Webmaster Tools where ...


20

If you canonicalise appropriately, it is fine. Use rel="canonical" to specify that the pages are identical, and hreflang for the alternate languages. <link rel="canonical" href="https://example.org/es/ads/2"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="https://example.org/en/ads/2"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="es" ...


19

Answering a question similar to yours on his blog, Matt Cutts suggests: If you have sites with say French and German versions for a business, my preferences would be: ccTLDS such as example.fr or example.de After than, subdomains such as fr.example.com or de.example.com. If that’s not possible, I’d use subdirectories such as ...


14

In my opinion, you should use either the folder or subdomain approach, because they are more intuitive to the user. Which one is a matter of personal taste, I personally find the folder approach clearer. The filename option is far less intuitive. Parsing the Accept-Language header for directing the user to the correct content on his first visit is a good ...


14

This happens when a page includes a hreflang link to an alternate language, but the linked page doesn't link back to it. This Official Google Webmaster Central Blog post explains that: Annotations must be confirmed from the pages they are pointing to. If page A links to page B, page B must link back to page A, otherwise the annotations may not be ...


11

Google only associates top-level domains with geographic regions: Sites with country-coded top-level domains (such as .ie) are already associated with a geographic region, in this case Ireland. — Geotargeting - Webmasters/Site owners Help Use top-level domains whenever possible to handle country-specific content. We're more likely to know that .ie ...


10

As a German user I hate it when a website won't let me on the English page because it's think it knows better what I want. It might be hard for Americans to understand but there are actually people who speak more than one language. Sometimes I might want to view the German websites and sometimes I might want to view the English one. Simply parsing the ...


6

Not a complete list: USA Canada Australia China (PRC) Mexico Malaysia Italy (strictly speaking; we don't collect Italian provinces and I don't think we've ever had a problem with sending mail there) To the best of my knowledge no other European country requires states/provinces in addresses. Also see ...


6

After reading Christofian's answer, I did some research and found out that the five Regional Internet Registry members (APNIC, AFRINIC, ARIN, RIPE, and LACNIC) each maintain a copy of the allocated IP address ranges and the associated countries on their public FTP servers. This information is updated daily and mirrored between the five servers. For example, ...


6

Splash screens are acceptable according to Google. They do offer some best practices however, when using multi-language/multi-regional sites. In this article, Google recommends the use of the hreflang tag within <link rel="alternate" ... /> tag in the head. The specific excerpt from the article is below: For language/country selectors or ...


5

Google has written a fair amount on the recommended way to present multilingual content: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/new-markup-for-multilingual-content.html They also have a fair amount of detail in terms of implementation on this subject: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=182192


5

The W3C provides this very long guide on choosing language tags/subtags. The important bits: Language tag syntax is defined by the IETF's BCP 47. In the past it was necessary to consult lists of codes in various ISO standards to find the right subtags, but now you only need to look in the IANA Language Subtag Registry. We will describe the new ...


5

Use subdomain option if you use localized versions (i.e. France != French). Use subdomains, but I think it's better use directories if this country uses diferent languages. For example: us.domain.com (USA) us.domain.com/en/sample.html (USA - english) us.domain.com/es/ejemplo.html (USA - spanish) es.domain.com (Spain) es.domain.com/es/ejemplo.html (Spain - ...


5

This is the same question I asked on Stack Overflow. And I got a resource for it, which I’ll post as an answer here. I have found a nice resource from Google on the choices you can make. There is a section with pros and cons of each method you can use. I have been struggling with multi-lingual websites for a while now. There are definitely some points in ...


5

I can't tell you what the consequences of this will be for sure but I think you can do this and reasonably manage your rankings if you follow best practices. If possible do a 301 redirect from the old URLs to the new URLs. This means for each and every page. This will let the search engines, and users, know the page has moved and let them know the location ...


4

I would suggest utilizing a 301 redirect to a new subdomain location. Subdirectories aren't handled as well from an SEO perspective, and it also diminishes the geo-focus of a site. I say this based off of practice, lest you wonder. Another question is where the hosting is occurring for the international domains? Do you have them hosted in those countries ...


4

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


4

The canonical tag tells spiders and other automated thingies that all URLs that return pages with the same tag are all effectively returning the exact same page. I don't think you want to tell robots that your UK and US pages are identical unless they really are. Do they show different currency? Do they maybe even spell words differently? Furthermore, ...


4

Here's Google's own tips for multilingual sites. In summary: Make sure the page language is obvious by sticking to one language per page. Keep the content for different languages on separate URLs. Don’t use cookies to show translated versions of the page. Consider cross-linking each language version of a page. Tell Google if your site is targeting a ...


4

As Stephen said, it is mostly likely an attempt at defining locale. In some of the web-based software that I've worked with, I've come across form values and URLs like: <input type="hidden" name="lc" value="US"> Or page.php?id=233&lc=FRA The meta tag for "lc" is undocumented, which means that it is either a mistake or some sort of custom tag ...


4

Looking at the wikipedia page on IP Addresses: The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) manages the IP address space allocations globally and delegates five regional Internet registries (RIRs) to allocate IP address blocks to local Internet registries (Internet service providers) and other entities. I'm no expert, but what I think that ...


3

Using a combination of localised sites (de.example.com or www.example.com/de/), with a global default landing page at www.example.com in conjunction with conditional redirects based on Accept-Language value is a common and perfectly search engine friendly approach, if properly optimised. Optimise the regional variants by applying lang attribute for those ...


3

As it says in the answer to How should I structure my urls for both SEO and localization? You should not use automatic redirects for language purposes based on either the Accept-Language header or on IP address geography. Geo-ip databases are inaccurate. Up to 10% of visitors may be assigned to the incorrect country. Some countries (like Canada) use more ...


3

As Stephen Ostermiller has pointed out the correct way is to the have a landing page and let users navigate the correct areas of the site. However as you cannot do this, Google have given instructions in the past for redirects based on user location. Here is a video from Matt Cutts on IP detection and redirects. On Googles page for Redirects and ...


3

Whereas the answer by Andrew makes sense and is in line with the official response by Google, I see 3 types of errors in my website: A URL containing an URL-encoded URL is linked back using the properly encoded URL. E.g. http://example.com%3Flang%3Dzh is linked back as http://example.com?lang=zh - there is not much I can do if someone is linking my site ...


3

It is not valid. ea.com is using HTML5, but in HTML5 it is only allowed to use name values that are defined in the specification, or registered on the WHATWG wiki page MetaExtensions. lc is not included. If they were using older HTML versions (e.g., HTML 4.01), it would be valid to use this value.


3

also geotarget the subfolder to the main territory he would wish to target for that langauge? You can specify the region (as well as the language) in the hreflang attribute. However, whether you should or not is really dependent on your subject matter. You say that these other languages are simply translations of the English version, so I would guess ...


3

Ok. Found the answer at: Help Google serve the correct language to your visitors We need to have a url tag for each of the url and specify the others as alternate urls.


3

Your redirects for users without cookies are a bad idea. Googlebot never sends cookies, but Google has data centers around the world. When Googlebot crawls from a data center in France, it won't be able to get to your English website and your English website could get dropped from the Google index. Location based redirects are also problematic for real ...



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