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Since a lot of clients are starting to go international I was wondering what the most optimal way is to redirecting users.

For example a client has a website www.example.com (serving UK customers) at they want to migrate to www.example.com/gb/ and www.example.com/us/.

I know that best practices dictates that we 301 redirect the old .com to the new subfolder .com/gb/. However this is often done via GeoIP meaning that there is actually no set 301. As the Google bot is mainly US based I imagine that most of this authority would be passed to any US version. If not there is no clear path of transferring link equity.

My question is: should we be 301 redirect the .com to the .com/gb/ version and then GeoIP redirecting from the .com/gb/?

Anyone have any thought?

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...should we be 301 redirect the .com to the .com/gb/ version and then GeoIP redirecting from the .com/gb/?

That's asking for a double-redirection for those who are located in the USA and the loading times will be terrible is the client is in USA and the server is in the UK due to the distance between the two computers. In fact, google's page-speed insights subtracts points from your website score if you run a URL through it and it redirects at least 2 or more times before reaching the webpage.

What I would suggest if you can is to have the default page in the default language at http://example.com then add a mini menu at the top of every page that allows users to switch between countries if they don't have a browser capable of handling geolocation.

You can also add javascript before the closing head tag that detects the user's location and if successful, do ONE redirect to the page for the users country.

The only time an automatic redirect (HTTP 301 status) should happen is if you updated your URLs and people are using old bookmarked URLs, and you'd rather have them use the new URLs instead.

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