Issue: Currently my site has one particular page which has country specific data. So I've URLs like :



All these pages have 80-90% common content and 10-20% country specific content. currently all these pages canonically point to mysite.com/sale-united-states.

The problem is when someone searches for "sale Sweden", Google correctly shows mysite.com/sale-united-states page, which does not feel correct as it shows US page instead of Sweden.

Now I'm thinking of not using canonical url so that country specific urls are produced in Google saerch. But I'm not sure how 80% duplicate content is going to affect SEO? What should be the recommended approach for this situation?

A friend of mine suggested a "separate subdomain per country" based approach but it seems overkill for one page.

2 Answers 2


The best solution would be to just have one single URL without the country in it, and allow the user to change it. For example the URL could be mysite.com/sale.

You could first auto-detect the country using geolocation, storing that as a "preference" in a cookie. Provide a dropdown for USA/UK/Sweden that sets the cookie to the different country. Then on each page load check for the cookie and display the correct localizations.

  • Couple of doubts : 1. It's very important that country name is displayed in SERP page. So do you think, country name would be indexed from country select box? So if I search for "sale Sweden", both the words should be bold on search result page. 2. Since there would be one page and lets say crawler crawled from US then US based data would be indexed only. What would happen to other 20% Sweden specific data which would never be indexed?
    – Shatiz
    Aug 23, 2012 at 16:25
  • Yes you make some good points. I assumed the country-specific stuff was very minor. I'll try and think of any other solutions and edit my answer. Aug 24, 2012 at 0:37
  • Google also suggests subdomain kind of approach. But not sure what exactly I should do for just one page. support.google.com/webmasters/bin/…
    – Shatiz
    Aug 24, 2012 at 2:36
  • seems like last example on following page could be the answer. what do you think DisgruntledGoat? support.google.com/webmasters/bin/…
    – Shatiz
    Aug 24, 2012 at 4:56

One way to resolve the duplicate content issue would be to place the duplicate content on a single, seperate page and then embed this in an iframe on each of the country specific pages; google registers content in an iframe as a separate window and as it is only physically located on one page it won't register as duplicate contnet.

I would suggest reading this artical about Duplicate content

It explains that if duplicate content is detected google will likely choose only one of these pages to display and therefore there still wouldn't be versions of your different web pages indexed. Since Google's Panda update it is also probable that your website may be penalised in the listings.

  • Using iframes would basically mean that content would not be seen by search engines. Aug 23, 2012 at 10:52
  • Using Ajax should do the same thing, right? Ajax content is not indexed by default.
    – Shatiz
    Aug 24, 2012 at 2:35
  • so long as you link to the page that is placed in the iframe from another location on the site, the content will still be indexed by google as google will crawl the link. The content within the iframe won't be associated with the country specific pages but the localised text on those pages will be crawled and used for the SEO purposes, It is the localised text that will want to be optimised for to rank highly for the country specific searches. If the text that is repeated on the pages is delivery information, T&C's etc this would further limit the SEO impact of that content. Aug 29, 2012 at 23:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.