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  #1  
Old 12-21-2010, 06:42 PM
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Tiggerito Tiggerito is offline
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Question How to deal with Multiple regions and languages?

I'm currently putting together a proposal for a client of mine, and would like some input about the woolly area of regions and languages.

My client is targeting several regions of the world, some of which speak different native languages. Currently they have one website in English and therefore are doing very well in that single region.

I'm considering the idea of using a domain for each region (ccTLD) that is powered by the same CMS so contains mostly the same content (price variations).

To deal with the languages we would use the standard 2 letter folder code. So URLs would look a bit like:
  • domain.com/en/...
  • domain.com/es/...
  • domain.co.uk/en/...
  • domain.co.uk/es/...
  • domain.com.au/en/...
  • domain.com.au/es/...

Therefore all the domains would support all the languages. Some other possible features:
  • geo tag pages
  • canonical tags on language specific pages to the domain best for that language
  • option to vary a pages content based on the domain as well as language. e.g. different home page content per domain

So to some questions:

Would this work? The new domains will start off with little ranking, but they can locally target. Would they end up performing better than the current domain for the regions they target, and therefore be beneficial in the long run?

How do I best handle pushing visitors to the best content for them. Do I just give options to switch country/language or try and automatically redirect based on IP?

How do I handle the home page. Do I redirect to the default languages folder or maybe have the default language become folder free?

In many cases we will not have a page in the local language. Would we then have to keep switching language folders as the user navigates around. Keeping their chosen language in a cookie say?

Cheers,
 
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2010, 05:32 AM
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AJKpeter AJKpeter is offline
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Quote:
Would this work? The new domains will start off with little ranking, but they can locally target. Would they end up performing better than the current domain for the regions they target, and therefore be beneficial in the long run?
I think it would work but wouldn't it be considered as a duplicate content?
Quote:
How do I best handle pushing visitors to the best content for them. Do I just give options to switch country/language or try and automatically redirect based on IP?
I think that redirection based on IP is the best option
Quote:
How do I handle the home page. Do I redirect to the default languages folder or maybe have the default language become folder free?
redirect to the default languages folder
 
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by AJKpeter View Post
I think it would work but wouldn't it be considered as a duplicate content?
The idea is that each duplicate is targeting a different region. The local duplicate will have a better chance to compete in their own region. (This is based on the concept that duplicate content is not a penalty but a filter)
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Originally Posted by AJKpeter View Post
I think that redirection based on IP is the best option
For that sort of redirect should I use a 302 or a 301 redirect?
Could I risk blocking search engines from indexing all the domains?
I've also noticed that some of the big players seem to have stopped forcing people to their localised websites using redirects (e.g. Dell).
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJKpeter View Post
redirect to the default languages folder
This means the home page (raw domain name) will always have a redirect and therefore leak some link juice. This is not good as most backlinks are to the root of a website. That's why I think the default language for a website should not require a language folder?
 
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:51 AM
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Why would as a professional SEO even consider using domains in that way? Options are:

1. Have one .com domain with subdomains for language I.e. www.en.example.com, www.de.example.com etc. This way you get ALL traffic going into your one domain and instead of diluting your pagerank. Only downside is that country specific search engines may not see it as relevant.

2. Use only the country TLD for that language, I.e. www.example.de, www.example.it etc. This way your sites are seen as independent in that language. I use this method at translation services uk. There is a downside though that traffic is split through different domains, but they seem to perform better in local search engines.


I don't see why you would choose local TLDs and then have each language for each domain. I can see that as being a massive maintenance nightmare. Anyway that's my 2 cents
 
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Foxtrck View Post
1. Have one .com domain with subdomains for language I.e. www.en.example.com, www.de.example.com etc. This way you get ALL traffic going into your one domain and instead of diluting your pagerank. Only downside is that country specific search engines may not see it as relevant.
Aren't sub domains considered as separate entities now so either way the pagerank is diluted?
I believe you can register each sub domain and have it target a different region, but I think using different ccTLDs will target them in a stronger way.

p.s. is www.en.example.com a valid domain name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxtrck View Post
2. Use only the country TLD for that language, I.e. www.example.de, www.example.it etc. This way your sites are seen as independent in that language. I use this method at translation services uk. There is a downside though that traffic is split through different domains, but they seem to perform better in local search engines.
I don't think you understand the difference between region and language. ccTLDs are about targeting regions and not languages. For example, in France (a region) you may find people who prefer to read in English than French. The other side of the solution is to make sure a ccTLD defaults to the best language for that region.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxtrck View Post
I don't see why you would choose local TLDs and then have each language for each domain. I can see that as being a massive maintenance nightmare. Anyway that's my 2 cents
You should always give the choice, especially if you don't have all your pages translated to the local language.

I agree that there is a big maintenance nightmare.
I'm looking at finding out the ideal then working out the possible.
I'm also dreading the meeting with the developers!
 
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiggerito View Post
I don't think you understand the difference between region and language. ccTLDs are about targeting regions and not languages. For example, in France (a region) you may find people who prefer to read in English than French. The other side of the solution is to make sure a ccTLD defaults to the best language for that region.

Again, it was only my for a possible solution, we tie our languages into seperate TLD domains that fit that country. I think of course I misunderstood the OP slightly.

As a business we target regions instead of specific languages, but of course our .com.pe (Peru) website can cover any potential Spanish visitors.

There are two completely viable options on either targeting regions or specific languages, but I think that falls to whoever is making the business/marketing decisions. What you really don't want to do is try and cater for every language for the sake of it, you want to concentrate on languages that will be beneficial to your site and get them properly translated (not google), these guys can help: Translation Services UK.
 
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Foxtrck View Post
...What you really don't want to do is try and cater for every language for the sake of it, you want to concentrate on languages that will be beneficial to your site and get them properly translated (not google), these guys can help: Translation Services UK.
Totally agree. What I was thinking was that if the translation was made then I would make it available as an option in all the regional websites. e.g. so the US offers Spanish with US dollars on the .com website.
 
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