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    Question multiple domain name extensions better than languages switch ?


    i'm currently preparing a huge web application and while i was looking other websites, i discovered that almost nobody use languages switch to change interface language. All companies purchased different domain name like:

    - www.mywebsite.fr
    - www.mywebsite.com
    - www.mywebsite.es
    - www.mywebsite.de

    Can you tell me why are they doing this ?
    because it means that all domains share the same DB but only domain is used for SEO and to easily manage languages.
    However it means they must update each domain separately when they change code.

    So why are they doing this ?
    Last edited by dzine; Oct 30th, 2014 at 10:40 AM. Reason: example URLs delinked, then approved
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    Probably the best answer I can give you is they're doing it for the users and user expectations. If I'm in France, I'm probably going to want, expect and to some degree trust a .fr domain more so than a .co.uk or a .com or what have you. It might be possible to just use mywebsite.com and have a "language toggle" functionality on the site, but that may not be what the user prefers. Other issues at stake here are how the site's are going to rank for localized queries, the types of backlinks different sites might get citations from (local vs foreign) and hosting locations.

    Hope that helps!

    Comments on this post

    • Chedders agrees : Simply its done for users not for programmers
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    Would also have a positive impact on local ranking. Does, however, mean you need to focus on expanding your link development. Considering you can duplicate your content across different TLDs that's another benefit.

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    • jsteele823 agrees
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    My website is just .com but has 2 langs (English/Russian) - .com is Russian and /com/en/ is English. The business is UK-based but focused on the Russian market, our web developer is in Russia and our hosting is in Moscow. I pen all the English content for /en/ and employ a Russian copyrighter to do all the content for com. We have had no problem ranking in Google for our keywords but have had issues with Yandex (main Russian language search engine), partly due to a missing sitemap (oops!) and partly because Yandex doesn't particularly like sites with lots of English content (?). Our organic split is now: Google 60%, Yandex 35%, Other 5%.

    I think the issue of localisation is massive in determining how successful the business/website will be. We provide Skype lessons to those learning English as a second language. I originally thought most of our target audience would search in English, but I was wrong. Even if they already speak English well, most still prefer to search in their mother tongue. Due to this, the competition for the Russian equivalent of the keyword "Skype English lessons" is far greater than it is in English. Our .com is in Russian, we have more content in Russian, our server is in Moscow, we use keywords well enough...but breaking into the local Russian market seems a tougher ask than just going for international/English.

    I previously had another website that was .ru. Also English/Russian but with English as the default lang - .ru was English and .ru/ru was Russian! Must've looked a bit odd. Had no issues with localisation for the Russian market with that and ranked fine on Google too. I think the organic split was more 50/50 between Google and Yandex so the latter may have given some preference to the fact the site was .ru. For a big commercial business I'd go for separate localised domains. For my small/medium biz the switcher we have is fine. Just make sure you optimise properly for each country you want to target - get decent copyrighters in and make sure you do your research on the local competition (In my experience, they will have a head start and be harder to compete with).

    Comments on this post

    • jsteele823 agrees : thanks for the background

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