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I have a website which URL looks like www.example.com.

The website is in French. Now I want to have an English version and I'm going to translate the site using the WPML WordPress plugin, which I believe is great for this purpose. The URL for the English website will use subfolder: www.example.com/en.

Now the question is, should I also create a /fr subfolder and redirect all traffic from original URLs to /fr. Or should I not bother doing that? What's the benefit in SEO wise?

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    As a matter of practice, it's better to leave the original site alone, with no redirects. If the main site is French, leave it as the main site. It's easiest to modify your Header Files to include a link/picture/icon of the French Flag. Clicking the Flag, would create a dropdown with a US or British Flag to Signify your Translation. In my experience, that is what most people look for. – eyoung100 Nov 20 '14 at 17:07
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No, you should leave the original site untouched, as by this time the Search Engines already have it well indexed and you don't want to confuse them with another site with the same content, just different url.

Besides, the Search Engines already know your site is French, even if you don't have a .fr domain. Inside Webmaster Tools, for example you can select if you want your website just for certain locations or leave it automatic (should be worldwide, but with this setting, Google takes the decision by you).

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