I'm looking for some expert advice regarding multilingual SEO domain selection. I have a basic question that I'd love some help clarifying. I'd love to know what you do if you were in my position..
From the research I've done so far, although there are other options, the two best suites ways of us separating 2 languages within our site is:
1) Country specific TLD's. (.com & .fr)
2) SubFolders (.com & .com/fr)
Would google prefer the power of the country specific domains & the cleanliness of the separation (Option 1)?
Or would it value more the link authority sent to one main domain with languages separated by subdomains (Option 2)?
Question background details:
I am developing a website in French & English. The main target markets language at present is French.
In the future however I'm sure equal if not more website users will use the English language.
1) Languages on two separate TLD's (Top level Domains) for each country (.fr & .com).
+ We already own both domains
+ We use WPML on wordpress so it's easy to update both languages.
- What would happen for example if all our external link building efforts go to .com and none to .fr, does this mean google will see much less authority to the .fr site?
2) Languages in sub folder .com (en) .com/fr (fr)
+ Through link building, all 'link juice' will be directed to .com (across french & English).
- We want all our customers to land on .com/fr if they are in French speaking country.