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    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

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    International SEO - is there another way?


    I have read Google guidelines regarding international SEO domain setup.

    What they recommend is one of the following options:
    a) country specific domains - domain.en | domain.de
    b) subdomains, aka en.domain.com | de.domain.com
    c) folders, aka domain.com/de | domain.com/en
    d) url parameters, aka site.com?loc=en | site.com?loc=de

    My question is - are there any other options, which WOULD NOT change the way the URL looks like?

    We have a website which is aimed at people from various countries.

    What we want to achieve is:
    1) someone searches for phrase in google
    2) he sees indexed LOCAL version of the site, which is based on his browser data (for example, en-en.domain.com)
    3) he clicks and is redirected to the main domain - domain.com BUT content of the website is still in English (in this example)
    4) When he chooses to change language of the site in site settings, URL REMAINS THE SAME - domain.com, BUT language changes to whichever he chose.

    Is it possible to achieve so that it does not hurt SEO rankings? Facebook does similar things, but from what I have heard from SEO specialists - "FB doesn't need to worry about SEO, they have a deal with Google"

    Simply put - are there any other options when it comes to international SEO apart from those listed above, which would allow URL to stay the same even when changing language of website?

    I will be grateful for your answers - if you worked on international projects and know about this stuff, I am willing to pay for consultations if needed.

  2. #2
  3. Dinosaur
    SEO Chat Super Genius (4500 - 4999 posts)

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    Using the browser data is a really bad idea. So many people dont set this correctly so it can lead to really odd results. Also it can be missing totally by some browsers how are you going to handle that ?

    You are far better allowing the users to select their language from a dropdown list and then drop a cookie or a session cookie of their selected language so you know for other pages. If their is no language selected you need to decide on a default. Personally I would suggest English as it is the common language on the net but that is currently and may not always be the case in the future.

    The extra languages pages need though to be unique i.e. /en/abc or /de/abc and use the hreflang meta tag so that google understand there are multiple versions available.

    The country TDL or sub domain route are properly not the best route in terms of SEO as any authority your main domain gains wont be passed on to the other countries.
    The big issue with auto language selection is that google will only tend to see the USA as that is where they are based.
    Owner of Page Explorer the page onsite SEO checker
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    SEO Chat Explorer (0 - 99 posts)

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    Chedders - thank you for information.

    I have one additional question - is it possible to display different metatags for single URL (title, description - basically what user sees in SERP) based on user's language settings in Google?

    If so, how can it be done and does it influence rankings in a negative way?

  6. #4
  7. SeoRaptor
    SEO Chat Good Citizen (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    It should be possible, if I understand correctly what you are talking about then this is what Google is doing with the help center, you can switch language by changing the ?lg= in the URL but the page is automatically loaded in your language.

    Never look on how they do this but you might end up with a very complex site to run and update (might be wrong never went this way for international and multilanguage website)

    If I were you I would go for Chedders option.
    Owner of Bennetonable | AdWords certified - Analytics qualified
    On-Page SEO Cheat Sheet | "My opinions are my own. Feel free to disagree & think above the fold."

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