1

Our company now has 2 domains linked to one FTP: site.lt and site.eu

  • In the .lt site, we show the content in the local language
  • In the .eu site, we show foreign languages like site.eu/lv.

1). My first question is if pages like:

http://site.lt/oliver-weber-auskarai-symbol-9919

http://site.eu/lv/oliver-weber-auskarai-symbol-9919

will be considered duplicates by Google if they have:

  • Same title
  • Same description
  • Different language body
  • Same body description

Currently in the <head> section we use alternate tags:

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="lt-LT" href="http://site.lt/oliver-weber-auskarai-symbol-9919" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="lv-LV" href="http://site.eu/lv/oliver-weber-auskarai-symbol-9919" />

and canonical links to default local language pages to avoid duplicate penalties:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://site.lt/oliver-weber-auskarai-symbol-9919"/>

But I think that canonical links will not let us get indexed with other languages with site.eu. Should we not use canonical links?

2). The second question is:

Is it necessary to redirect users/bots to languages by IP or HTTP language header? Can Google add a penalty for this? Or maybe this will be better?

I had read a lot of information and suggestions about these questions, but all them seem to be different.

1

If you have 'same' pages translated in different languages, their title and description should be translated too. Otherwise, this will be confusing to users and to search engines too.

In other words, the title and description for http://site.lt/oliver-weber-auskarai-symbol-9919 should be in "lt-LT".

If you don't use canonical, there is indeed a risk of (near) duplicate content between http://site.lt/ and http://site.eu/lv. It is most probably not going to trigger a penalty, unless you have hundreds of pages like that, but it is definitively going to confuse search engines and hurt your ranking. Have one page with the proper translation and set rel="canonical" to that page on other pages showing the same content.

Regarding notifying search engines about other translations, using rel="alternate" hreflang="lt-LT" is enough. If there is a rel="canonical" element on the target page, they will handle it properly. No worry.

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