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Translating a web site - What is the best strategy?
Is it better to include it in a new folder or register another domain?
Bobby




msg:129004
 5:17 pm on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi everybody, I'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

I'm completing the translation of my web site and trying to determine whether or not it would be better to simply place the entire translated site into a new folder on the already existing web site or register a domain dedicated to the site in the new language.

I can think of pros and cons for both strategies but it's hard to weigh them up and come to a clear decision on what is best.

Pros
a) A new domain offers linking possibilities from "outside" rather than "inside" and since the I.P. Address is totally different there is the additional advantage of seeming genuinely 3rd party.

b) A new domain provides safety in that should one domain go down I would still have the other.

c) A new domain on another server would not tax the first one.

Cons
a) A new domain would not get the benefit of 2 years of links and simply being recognized as an established domain.

b) A new domain might take longer to get indexed than putting pages into another folder on the first domain.

c) A new domain means additional expenses.

Up till now I've mostly (though not always) registered new domains for additional languages and seen that they work well together. Recently however I employed the strategy of keeping everything on one single domain in new folders and THAT site has had excellent results, hence I am undecided.

Basically the question for me is this:
Would it be better to keep the translated site on the main domain so that additional links from outside sources would benefit it or would it be better to 'divide the pie' so to speak and reinforce the 2 domains which would be working in harmony?

Any thoughts?

 

zgb999




msg:129005
 8:52 am on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Pros
- Local customers tend to preferr local domains
- The SERPS are not the same all over the world. If somebody is searching from Germany, German sites are preferred (at least from Google).

Cons
- Google likes larger sites so spreading your content to different sites could be a disadvantage.

Maybe this could work but I have never checked:
- Content is on www.domain.com/de ...
- www.domain.de is hosted in Germany but has as 301-redirect on www.domain.com/de

tenerifejim




msg:129006
 11:52 am on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I suggest having languages as sub-folder and doing a local url redirect. Like zgb says. works fine for me.

Marcia




msg:129007
 1:13 pm on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Bobby, for local search you may need to have a country specific tld or hosting recognizably within the country.

Is it only one country you're targeting with multi-lingual capability, or several countries?

SlyOldDog




msg:129008
 3:11 pm on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you are running a serious business I wouldn't do a translation unless the site was dynamic. It is a nightmare keeping static multilingual sites up to date.

Of course this also implies keeping all the content on one site.

Bobby




msg:129009
 3:44 pm on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wow it's nice to see people responding, I appreciate your input.

Marcia, I've already got another domain with the site in Spanish, I am now going after the Italian market. I don't understand what you mean by specific tld, do you mean the extension (.com, .net, .it)? If this is what you are refering to all the other sites I've translated have remained with .com extensions and have been properly indexed in Google even for searches in the specific language.

Google likes larger sites so spreading your content to different sites could be a disadvantage

zgb - this is an important consideration for me and one I have not been able to determine the significance of. I agree, Google does seem to like bigger sites, but then having another domain linking to the main site has its advantages too.

tenerifejim - what do you mean by "local url redirect"?

SlyOldDog - keeping the sites updated IS a nightmare, even the main site in English. In any event it requires translating and creating new pages in other languages whether they are on the same server/domain or not. What I'd like to determine from others with similar experiences is whether or not keeping all translations on the same domain is more beneficial than establishing new domains for the other languages.

steveb




msg:129010
 9:11 pm on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Except for taxing the server, there are no advantages to separate domains. All the the advantages point to putting them on one domain. Breaking them up to seperate domains doesn't make any sense especially if your English section is updated faster or is more in depth than the other languages. Italians with a rudumentary grasp of English could still get some value from your English pages that are not yet in Italian (or never will be).

Bobby




msg:129011
 10:58 pm on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

steveb,

In either case the visitor could pass from english to italian or vice versa by clicking on a button. It's not a question of navigation for me, it's a question of what will be the most beneficial in terms of SERPs and attracting visitors.

All the the advantages point to putting them on one domain

What are the advantages you see to putting both languages on one domain?

steveb




msg:129012
 12:16 am on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

No worries about crosslinking

Possibility of authoratative links in several languages make your domain more of an authority overall... even a good german link will thus benefit the italian section of a domain.

No sandbox.

Increase in regular and deeper crawling -- though this will likely be negative if we are talking about a domain over 10,000 pages.

No risks in terms of "seeming genuinely 3rd party". You are not doing anything that a search engine would look negatively on. Creating a bunch of dinky domains raises the possibility, however remote, of attracting a crosslinking penalty. If an engine thinks, "hmm, this seemingly is NOT genuine" then you made a problem which had no positive side.

Get genuine links and make an authoritative domain useful to citizens of world who speak many languages. Having several languages that get at least some links to the sections is a powerful signal of authoritative value all by itself.

Just look at it as a user or a search engine, this domain cares enough about its content to make it available in several languages. Assuming non-machine translations, how can this single fact not make a person or a search engine at least a little (and probably a lot) more confident in the value of the domain's content?

Take what genuine signals of quality you can get.

Haecceity




msg:129013
 4:32 am on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I understand that Google treats subdomains as if they were separate sites. So you could have francais.domain.com, deutsch.domain.com, etc. You'd maintain your brand better this way than if you had separate domains, and you wouldn't have the additional expense.

zgb999




msg:129014
 1:18 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

From what I am seeing Google preferrs sites from within a country or with a server in that country. SERPs are not the same all over the world!

So depending on the competitiveness of the keywords your visitors are using it might still be worth having a country tld. Ask somebody in Italy to send you a printscreen of the SERPS for some important keywords and compare them with the SERPs you are seeing. Like that you can see how much your keywords depend on local sites.

Bobby




msg:129015
 1:27 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Possibility of authoratative links in several languages make your domain more of an authority overall

Good point Steve, and it appears that Google prefers "authoritive" sites at this point in time.

No sandbox

Although this is certainly an advantage for a few months it doesn't matter to me as I am not concerned about increasing visits immediately (I already have my hands full) but rather long term.

Increase in regular and deeper crawling

Another good point I had not considered which allows for better feedback when applying changes. The site has only about 100 pages, so deep crawling would not be a problem nor would it tax the server much more as the site is light.

No risks in terms of "seeming genuinely 3rd party"

True, but again I am not concerned about it. I am confident that the original content will be appreciated by the great Google in the sky.

"this domain cares enough about its content to make it available in several languages"

I like the concept here, it might apply in other ways too.

Thanks for your input.

Any ideas on benefits to having another domain?

Bobby




msg:129016
 1:31 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

zgb999, the server is already in the country, but the domains are .com and not .it.

Can you give me an example of what you are referring to?

zgb999




msg:129017
 1:59 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I did not realise that you already are in Italy.

Maybe a recent post of GoogleGuy can help:
[webmasterworld.com...]

steveb




msg:129018
 9:33 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

UK focused sites are not the same as they are in English.

Are you claiming that if I search on google.it in California that a person performing the same search on google.it in Rome will get completely different results (both with "Cerca solo le pagine in Italiano" checked)? I don't believe that since my statistics show my .com's hosted in the USA getting lots of .it, .de, .es traffic.

steveb




msg:129019
 9:35 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

One thing I'd add that if you could get keyword.it or something like that, then separate domains might make sense, but otherwise domain.com/keywordinitalian/ has no downside.

zgb999




msg:129020
 10:34 am on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Are you claiming that if I search on google.it in California that a person performing the same search on google.it in Rome will get completely different results "

I never compared results with google.it but I can confirm that the same querry gives different results on google.com than it gives on google.ch if it is a Swiss site hosted in Switzerland.

Also if I use google.ch through anonymizer (using a US IP) I get the same SERP as if I use google.com (beeing not the same SERPS as if I go to google.ch surfing from within Switzerland.

So location seems to play a role. Maybe only a minor one (I haven't seen completely different results so far) but the SERPs are different.

Some older posts about this I found:
[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]

Rumbas




msg:129021
 10:48 am on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]
..and a bunch of other threads in the Euro Forum will point you in the right direction ;)

T_Bill




msg:129022
 10:52 am on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

To be listed in Google.co.uk isn't it important to have a domain name with .co.uk?

steveb




msg:129023
 9:29 pm on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

.com and .ch being different doesn't matter as long as the .ch results are the same everywhere. It's no problem getting .com sites to rank first on the non-english Googles.

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