I read many discussions about the epic question: "subdomains vs folders for multi-language sites".

However, I'm really curious to know why the big companies (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Vimeo, Reddit, etc.) do not use any of the two options.

Could someone explain this?

  • 2
    As an aside, de.reddit.com and de-de.facebook.com do exist. – Mendhak Jan 26 '14 at 20:46
  • You have to access specifically to these subdomains to view it, because they are not visible on client side url. That's my doubt about this question, from a seo point of view. – neogeo Jan 26 '14 at 21:23

There are 'big guys' like Wikipedia who use a subdomain, and some big guys like the sites which you have mentioned who do not use a subdomain.

In some sites, like Wikipedia, being multilingual means offering the actual content in different languages. Because it is different content, it makes sense to keep the several sites separated.

In some other sites, like Twitter or Facebook, the content is the same, regardless of the language of the user. Only a few elements should be addapted to the user language, such as the controls and menus.

It is important to keep the language away from the content, but when the content is the actual object to translate, another version of the site, more than just the menus makes sense.

  • You mean that if the translation is just for the interface-words (and not for the content) is not necesary to have fr.domain.com or domain.com/fr for users that select french language? – neogeo Jan 26 '14 at 21:45

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