I have a question concerning regional targeting of a website. I have 2 websites with exactly the same content and both in English (exact copy), but different domains:

  • abc.example
  • xwz.example

I would like to redirect visitors from Europe to abc.example and the rest of the visiters to xwz.example.

My approach is to do so by IP detection. Showing a pop up to the user and informing them that they are being redirected to a suitable version for x y reasons.

But the real problem is: What should be the perfect approach to letting the search engines (Google) know that these are 2 versions of the same website and avoid penalties for duplicate content or other penalties?

The rel="alternate" hreflang="" solution would be the best solution if it was on a coutry level, but we want to target whole European countries on one site and the rest of the world on the otherside.

Should we use a canonical tag? How can we tell Google that this version is for Europeans and this other version is for the rest of the world?

1 Answer 1


The IANA Language Subtag Registry does define relevant region subtags:

So you could use this link element to link from xwz.example to abc.example:

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-150" href="https://abc.example/" />

For the link in the other direction, you can only use a tag without a region (because there is no way to convey "everything except this region"):

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="https://xwz.example/" />

If the pages are really identical (e.g., no comment system, which would lead to different comments on otherwise identical pages), you should use canonical in addition. xwz.example should probably be the canonical one.

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