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I'm setting up a multilanguage regional based webshop via Wix. SEO is important. Wix' "solution" to SEO multilanguage support is over URL parameters (?lang=en) and Google / Moz documentation says that's a big no-no, although many large sites do it. Perhaps I need a more reasonable solution. What approach to take:

  • Complete different subs and sitemaps for all languages (unfavourable)
  • Only different sub for homepage and blog, webshop over URL param & cookie
  • Stick with URL param & cookie and expect Google to differentiate / not penalise SEO

I'm also open to a better service than Wix, if that's the best suggestion. The site has to be updated semi-regularly. SEO efforts outrank efficiency, but they are both important. All regions will have their own GoogleAds and advertising network efforts, including product specific ads. They do completely share common stock so no webshop items need differentiate.

I am considering to go with a competitor of Wix that lets me manually alter site code for better SEO efforts, but it requires more management and time resource on my end.

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Whichever way you go is largely dependent on the way your site is written and what ability you have to control the site structure. Using URL parameters is generally a bad idea as many crawlers including Google consider URL parameters as a low value signal when they even consider them at all. Common ways include using sub domains for separating your languages, and separate folder structures...

IE: en.domain.com, fr.domain.com .vs. domain.com/en, domain.com/fr

The important thing to remember is that regardless of which way you go you should ensure you set your canonical meta tag to the canonical (which is often the english) version of the page and set your rel=alternate tags for each language alternative whichever way you differentiate your various language version pages. If you don't then Google will likely assess the site as having duplicate content which can negatively impact on rankings, where on the other hand by using canonical and rel=alternate tags it also helps Google see that there are other pages for other languages and will favor those language specific pages when people use those language versions of Google to find your pages.

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