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How can I get search engines to crawl my site and see a localised view of my data?

I was wondering what would be the best URL strategy for a multilingual website (for an Italy based company).

I was thinking about example.com/it and example.com/en, not showing any content at example.com and redirecting the visitors to the localized site when they try to access example.com.

What about buying an additional domain, example.it, and then redirecting to example.com/it?

Are these good ideas? If so, regarding of SEO, which are the best redirect methods for both example.com (to example.com/en or example.com/it) and the additional (if available) example.it (to example.com/it)?


2 Answers 2


Google just announced New markup for multilingual content. This should make it easier for multi-language sites to deal with translated versions of their website.


All are more or less the same. Depends on technology etc.

Approaches are:

  • example.it, example.com etc.... problem - these reflect countries, not languages. Where do you put English? German (Germany, Austria?)
  • example.com/it, example.com/en, example.com/de etc. - basically folders
  • it.example.com, de.example.com, en.example.com - subdomains, used for example by wikipedia.

From a SEO point of view there is no difference.

I would go with subfolders or subdomains, NOT with different domains - reason: cookies, common login code etc. is a lot better if you have a common domain to hook them up to.

  • Fine, but what about redirect methods for site.com to site.com/it or site.com/en? Is it a good idea to keep site.com empty?
    – ailith
    Mar 11, 2010 at 15:23