Hot answers tagged

55

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

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 example.com/...


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" href="https://example.org/...


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 ...


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 ...


9

Declaring Language in XHTML and HTML The W3 describes how to formally declare the language of your web pages: http://www.w3.org/International/tutorials/language-decl/ Add a content-language meta tag to the head block of each page. <meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en"> ...or... <meta http-equiv="content-language" content="es"> ...


8

I'm going to try and answer all three questions at once: If you really want to "optimize" your domains then have each domain live, accessible (non-directed), hosted in their own counties, with their own carefully translated content based on the language of that country. Costly. If you want to keep things as simple as possible (like Apple), then pick the ....


7

The Googlebot can submit forms, but it generally doesn't unless it can detect a reason to do so. So from the links, if your translations were AJAX'd and built properly, Googlebot may very well submit the form to see what the results would be. However, this behavior (especially on POST), is not guaranteed and you should probably use GET to make things more ...


6

See Working with multi-regional websites by Google. It covers this in detail.


6

The typical format for a locale is comprised of the two letter language code followed by the two letter country code. For example, here is a list of all the locales supported by Java: Language Country Locale ID -------------------------------------------------------------- Albanian Albania ...


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 auto-...


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

From Google Webmaster Tools Support page on Multi-region and multilingual sites Managing multilingual versions of your site Make sure the page language is obvious Google uses only the visible content of your page to determine its language. We don’t use any code-level language information such as Lang attributes. You can help Google ...


5

Definitely keep the <link> tags in your <head> section. I've never read anywhere that Google actually acknowledges rel="alternate" on <a> tags. Also many other bots may only retrieve the <head> of your documents, so if those <link> tags aren't in the header, they may never actually see them. But I don't think that having the rel=...


5

Yes! In a recent blog post we mentioned: Your [rel-alternate-hreflang] annotations should be self-referential. Page A should use rel-alternate-hreflang annotation linking to itself.


5

It is more user friendly to translate slugs, but don't expect, it will bump your site's ranking like a bomb. Google is able to translate URLs by itself, so it can match a meaning of a page with english URL and italian content. URL translation could lightly improve your user metrics and user experience, which are ranking factors too. Also, if you do it, do ...


4

It belongs ion the <html> tag: <html lang="en">


4

You could turn this question on its head; let's say you land on the page, and the current language is Russian; which of these do you pick to get to something you understand? французский английский итальянский русский From a usability perspective, I'd say that the language names should always be in their native languages, over the current language.


4

You need to give the translated versions separate URLs if you want Google to index them. From Google's "Working with multilingual websites" blog post: To make all of your site's content more crawlable, avoid automatic redirections based on the user's perceived language. These redirections could prevent users (and search engines) from viewing all ...


4

I believe the problem might be due to auto redirecting the root url ('/') or automatically setting the language, should I exclude robots somehow? Correct. Googlebot et al don't send an Accept-Language header, or accept cookies, so it'll see whatever the site defaults to without it, which would appear to be English in this case. You can verify this using ...


4

The problem with your set-up (from an SEO standpoint) is that search engines don't accept cookies, so whenever a bot follows a link to your root domain, it'll be sent to your English content. Hopefully, there's an abundance of links to the other language content, too, but in my experience, this situation nevertheless seems to lie at the root of a lot of ...


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

It's my understanding that we at Google don't use any of the language meta-information within PDF files. You can, however, use the hreflang information via HTTP header or Sitemaps file for non-HTML content too.


4

This is the language which dominates because there are many countries which use the same language. That's why, you need to specify to language first and then precise with the country. Thus, the most appropriate is http://www.example.com/en-in/. However, there is no impact on SEO, it's just a standard. For this kind of stuff, you can just take a look how ...


4

It is a confusing state of affairs, but here are some pointers: Don't use the canonical tag in the way you were thinking. Content translated into several languages is not duplicate content. So you don't want to be pointing /fr/ --canonical--> /en/ at all. Use rel="alternate" hreflang="en" instead. Use canonical within a given language to account for ...


3

I think you are on the right track here. There are a few ways I've seen this done: Have the www.domain.com/index.html page be a simple language selection page with only links to the en and es home pages. Personally I find this annoying, but I still see it all the time. Just sent everyone to the english version and have a link from there to the spanish ...


3

You're going about it the wrong way. The proper way to set up a multilingual site is, as toomanyairmiles' links outline, to set up different localized subsites, either in separate directories or subdomains, e.g. en.example.com / example.com/en/ de.example.com / example.com/de/ Google will recognize each subsite's targeted locale based on the content. ...


3

If duplicating the image really is unnecessary then you could still perhaps have the best of both worlds... only store the image once, but have it referenced by different filenames, for the different languages - using mod_rewrite (Apache) and an internal rewrite. Based on unor's example: example.net/img/en/house.png example.net/img/es/casa.png These ...


3

As of Jun 10, 2014 Google recommends either ccTLDs, Subdomains with gTLDs or Sub-directories with gTLDs. URL parameters such as ?lang=en are not recommended: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/182192?hl=en#2 (Funny that the page which says that it's not recommended to use URL parameters for this, is actually doing exactly this.)



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible