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When you search for the word Pinterest in Google search results, tr.pinterest.com comes up first. I'm in Turkey, it's very normal for it to come out like this and actually this is what I want.

What I do for my own website is to create a multilingual sitemap and use hreflang.

What should I do if my website still doesn't look like the Pinterest example despite doing these?

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    What does "automatic language" mean? Are you trying to figure out which language with be appropriate for each use automatically? If so, how does that work? Oct 1 at 16:05
  • @stephen-ostermiller What I mean by automatic language is this: When someone from Turkey searches, tr.pinterest.com appears on the google search result page. When someone from France searches for it, fr.pinterest.com appears on the google search result page.
    – ardacar
    Oct 1 at 16:32
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Pinterest is using the subdomain method of internationalization.

Let's take a look:

tr.example.com <-- Subdomain Method

  • Despite Google saying that they rank subdomains more or less the same as subdirectories/folders, SEOs still debate it.
    • Strong opinions on this likely come from success after implementing it, which most likely has nothing to do with the method itself, but rather how it's implemented and the unique site it's being implemented on.
  • Subdomains are considered standalone sites and distinct from the main (root) domain.
  • A subdomain enjoys the benefits from being part of the same site in terms of reputation, crawl rate, spam score, and tens of if not a hundred other ranking factors. The same site started on a new domain would take much longer optimize in search engines.
  • In my experience I like this method because for example if the main site is in the US, you can put the Turkish site on a totally separate site on a server with a local/regional IP.
  • Many find tr.example.com more aesthetically pleasing than example.com/tr-TR/(that might not be the proper country/lang code).

I will say that generally speaking it's not typical (or necessary) for a site to implement this if it already exists in that country.

For example, for my site I wouldn't use us.mysite.com since I'm already in the US. However, if I wanted to grow my presence to Turkey I'd create tr.mysite.com.

That doesn't mean you can't do it though. You did state that it's very normal in Turkey, so by all means go for it! Just 301 redirect your example.com to tr.example.com.

The method still requires hreflang annotations and canonicals to be set properly (You may know this, mentioning for those who do not). I wrote an answer about implementing canonicals and hreflangs that might be useful if you decide to implement this.

Make sure everything is sorted with search console and that your sitemaps and etc are updated accordingly!

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    Google has been treating subdomains as part of the larger site for more than a decade now. I wouldn't describe them as separate or standalone. See Do subdomains help/hurt SEO?. Oct 1 at 17:02
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    @StephenOstermiller I respectfully disagree. See the SE Journal article I linked (published 2021). Google associates foo.example.com with the domain example.com, but not the website that is associated with the domain name. They say verbatim: "A subdomain is generally considered as a standalone site that is branched off from the main domain.". For example - webmasters.stackexchange.com is topically separate from math.stackexchange.com. It also exists independently (standalone) of stackexchange.com or any of its other subdomains. It is its own site. Oct 1 at 17:41
  • A new StackExchange subdomain would get the benefits from being part of the same site in terms of reputation, crawl rate, spam score, and tens of if not a hundred other ranking factors. The same site started on a new domain would take much longer optimize in search engines. Oct 1 at 18:01
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    Totally! Sounds like our only disagreement is terminology/word usage. The bit about the benefits is worth adding to this answer. Oct 1 at 18:15

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