I have multilanguage website targeting by subdomain:

  • http://en.example.com/ - Displays only contents in English
  • http://de.example.com/ - Displays only contents in German
  • ...
  • http://example.com/ - Displays contents in all languages

Title/Description are also translated depending on subdomain. Main domain is in English. I would like to have different Title/Description on main domain http://example.com/ for users from different region:

  • http://google.co.uk/ should display Title/Description in English
  • http://google.de/ should display Title/Description in German

My question: For main domain http://example.com/, is it possible to return different Title/Description for Google bot from different regions? Or there is only one Google bot and targeting is only completed by search engine, not crawler?

2 Answers 2


You're going about it the wrong way.

The proper way to set up a multilingual site is, as toomanyairmiles' links outline, to set up different localized subsites, either in separate directories or subdomains, e.g.

en.example.com / example.com/en/
de.example.com / example.com/de/

Google will recognize each subsite's targeted locale based on the content. However, you should also follow best practices:

  • use the Content-Language header (or override by meta tag) and the lang attribute in your root element;
  • link each page to its translation via:
    <link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href="de.example.com/...">
    <link rel="alternate" hreflang="es" href="es.example.com/...">
    <link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-gb" href="uk.example.com/...">
  • use a single language on each page;

Most search engines will then identify which locale each page is targeted at and the appropriate localization will be shown to searchers of each region. There's no point in having example.com show different language descriptions to different searchers if, when they click on it, it's always going to be English. That would be considered cloaking and is bad UX design.

  • Thank you for your answer. I'm not going to display different content for different searchers, example.com will display all content and markup will be in english. Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 9:42

I think you'd need a domain for each region which is locked to it's local country with google webmaster tools, but here's an article from google on how to tackle the problem.

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-start-multilingual-site.html http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/03/working-with-multilingual-websites.html

I'm not certain that the googlebot itself differentiates it's ID between countries or languages so I don't think you could target it programatically.

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