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I'm building this website that will be multi-region / multi-language.

And for that, Google suggests the following:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/182192?hl=en

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Since, my domain will have to change based on the country language, I'll have to go with option #1.

A country-specific domain.

Example:

  • www.name-in-english.net
  • www.name-in-deutsch.net
  • www.name-in-spanish.net
  • www.name-in-french.net

Since they all have different domains, if I don't let Google know that they are the same website, they will all be treated as single unique websites.

Google suggests that you can "group" them together using one of those 3 options:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077

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If I'm doing it, I'll use the Sitemap option.

But my question is:

What do I gain by letting Google know that all those websites are the same one, but in different languages? What will be different if I let Google think that they are all single unique separate websites?

Do I gain some SEO or pagerank by doing that?

I mean, what if I get great traffic from my english website. Does that benefit my other languages results in the other domains?

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    That is a good question. We have How should I structure my URLs for both SEO and localization? here which covers the same information you got from Google itself. But it doesn't address your question of what you get out of using hreflang as opposed to letting Google see them as independent. Mar 23 '20 at 12:22
  • @StephenOstermiller thanks! Google doesn't mention if they share pagerank or not. Mar 23 '20 at 12:29
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John Mueller from Google answered this to me on Twitter:

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