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    Which would google prefer, Country Specific TLD or SubFolders?


    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.
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    According to me, you should go with the 2nd option. Because sub-folder is more beneficial if you want to build authority more quickly. It has a lot of advantages like:

    1) Makes use of existing strong domain authority

    2) Strengthens domain authority over time

    3) Minimizes maintenance costs over time

    4) All content is easily managed in a single place

    5) Integration points are streamlined through a single domain

    Also, you can geo-target these folders using Google search console.

    Comments on this post

    • Pierre Benneton agrees
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    I vote for subfolders for the reasons webguruz has stated


    We want all our customers to land on .com/fr if they are in French speaking country.
    There are ways to achieve this quite easily.

    You need to add alternate language tags between similar pages in different languages.

    You could create subfolder for geographical country instead of only language eg /en-gb/ & /en-us/ another example could be /fr-fr/ and /fr-ca/ . This would allow you to adapt your sales speach to the country culture but also to the country grammar and spelling. Remember you don't sell a product the same way in England and in the US and if I'm not wrong your primary goal is revenue generation online or offline.
    Last edited by Pierre Benneton; Apr 14th, 2017 at 10:12 AM.
    Owner of Bennetonable - "My opinions are my own - Feel free to disagree & think above the fold."
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