This has also occurred to me but it is probably too early to make any judgement just yet.
But if your needs are met by one single-language site, then it may be worth your while. It really depends on your target audience; UK and expat brits may share betting and sport interests; French, OR German OR Spanish-speaking sites may wish to target Euro-spending folk who speak their language. As worker mobility accellerates, such sites may be increasingly important.
But mostly, other than NGOs and EC governmental stuff, it's largely a scam to get people people to buy one more domain to be 301'd to their .com - just like .biz and .info
The future may hold some surprises. But don't hold your breath!
I think the generics might be worth a lot , someday
I think you've got to give it time...
In principle Europe should have and probibly needs it's own Tld ...
In fact the problem is with google... we all pander to it's algorythm and at present it is a mess..
I know the French are working on a EU search engine and perhaps something like that is the answer.. a search engine that understands the structure of europe the different languages and demographics..
I certainly would not say it is a waste of time, it just needs a little more time.. compared to .com it's still in it's infancy..
[edited by: Lobo at 2:18 pm (utc) on Jan. 3, 2007]
<As worker mobility accellerates, such sites may be increasingly important.>
That is what I was thinking as well. Europe is getting smaller. People are traveling more and most of us use the Euro so buying in our neighbour countries is easier. When my widgets are interesting to several countries I can publish to those as well.
An .eu domain would be my preference since it shows the brand is international.
But if it is true that .eu domain names will have a handicap in SE it is more wise to split the content and build several sites. I know sites with .eu domainnames are very fresh but does anybody already have some experience with an .eu domain name in the SERPS of Google?
Are .bav(arian) TLDs available already?
What shall I do with our customers from Switzerland?
Has anyone registered www.baable.eu yet? (Oh, I forgot the EU-commission has given up on that project.)
<<In principle Europe should have and probibly needs it's own Tld ... >>
This is what I believe as well. It would be great to have one domain name for your country and your neighbouring countries. A larger market is more profit and one domain name is easier branding and cheaper marketing.
I would like to invest in a .eu site but when it takes several years longer before searchengines give equal value to .eu compared to country Tld's it is better to wait.
As to the original question:
it looks like that language 'problem' is the same as with all other genereioc .COM/ NET/ ORG/ EDU/ BIZ/ INFO/ ... TLDs, so the usefullness/uselessness of an .EU domain could be considered similar to these.
Should not be a problem at all if a search engine would honour the language tag
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="xy-zz">
properly. Does Google?
> Does Google?
Some people say No. cf
I've used <html lang="de"> rather than the meta tag -- and I've had good results for 2 years running.
In general, I find that Google (all search engines, really) start with an academic base, so I try to lie up my pages with the W3C recommendatios first of all. Here's a W3C reference about languages on websites [w3.org].