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Let's assume, i have a website on the following domain: example.com

When a user visits example.com, it will be redirected by my script to one of 3 languages, based on their navigator.language, if he has english by default, then it would be: example.com/en, russian: example.com/ru and so on.

But, google crawls my website main page without any language prefix, is it possible to exclude example.com from a crawlers?

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It is desirable to let search engine bots crawl your domain's root URL. You just need to implement an alternative to the redirect. For users, you also need a page for when the browser language does not match one of the three that you support.

If the browser language can be determined at the root URL and it matches a supported language, redirect to the subdirectory. Otherwise show a page letting the user choose their language.

English | Русский | etc...

With that in place, search engine bots will be able to navigate to all your content in all languages and index your entire site.

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  • I have a fallback to english, if none of the client's languages does match pre-defined on my website. Do you have any examples of such sites? Showing dedicated page on un-prefixed root url seems weird to me. – Alexander Kim Dec 7 '19 at 10:47
  • It isn't weird at all. It is very common. ikea.com does that for example. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 7 '19 at 11:36
  • Thanks, hope it would help. Time would show. In terms of SEO, it's never a good idea to do something automatically for users? We should make it transparently? – Alexander Kim Dec 7 '19 at 12:00
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    It's never a good idea to automatically do the wrong thing for users. Language redirects are always somewhat problematic. You don't always have the right information to implement them correctly. And if you don't have their preferred language, redirecting them to English isn't the most helpful thing. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 7 '19 at 13:46

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