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Duplicate Content on US and UK sites

 7:52 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a duplicate content issue which has me confused. I have one site with different subdomains for specific countries. For example: uk.example.com, fr.example.com and de.example.com. The content has been translated on the non-English sites so there shouldn’t be duplicate content no issue there. However, the UK site has identical content to the US because they both use the same English language. I want visitors from the UK to find my uk.example.com subdomain on google.co.uk because it has unique information about products, events and prices. What is the best way to handle this? I know that I can use the canonical tag, but wouldn’t that cause Google to ignore my UK pages and rank the US site?

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.



 8:11 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

First, the two countries notoriously do not use the same exact version of English - so it would be good to get someone who knows the differences to take a look. But on to your exact question.

You can register each subdomain as its own "website" in WebmasterTools and then choose which geographic targeting applies in each case.


 8:25 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Would setting geographic locations for each subdomain avoid the duplicate content penalty?


 9:57 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is no duplicate content "penalty" to worry about - especially when you are serving similar content to different geographic areas. It's a commonly used phrase that causes a lot of misunderstanding and needless worries.

What happens, occasionally, is a problem ranking pages from a site because too many indexed URLs unintentionally serve the same content - and that's usually because of a technical oversight.


 10:13 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

The content has been translated on the non-English sites

Please say you didn't use machine translation ? :)

As tedster says ..running translations on sub domains or even separate domains or even inside the same domain..does not get one dupe content penalties..

Some of us have been doing it for years ..each language page can rank at #1 for the same terms in each language.


 10:21 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

No machine translation. We hired a professional company to do the translation - costed us a small fortune, but we had to get it done right.


 10:43 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Get all your translations checked by at least 3 other people or companies fluent in each language.. How much it cost you, sadly isn't a guarantee of accuracy nor quality ..neither are "professional" credentials..

I have seen and still see, horrors, from supposedly "pro" translation companies, with high prices.

Simple method to check the quality of translations ..if you have had English translated to French ..get the French translation checked against the English original..for sense, syntax and grammar ..and do the same with any other language "pairs" you have..also bear in mind that translation ..and translation for the web ..are not the same animal ..even before one takes into consideration SEO and reading levels, culture , age , ethnicity etc ..

For example what we would call "metro" French is not the same as Provincial or "Dom-Tom" or Quebecois etc..compliqué hein ? :)

And keep in mind that any inquiries that you may get in response to the translated pages may well not be in English..and thus will need translating before you can understand them ..a "faq" or "fax" or "facts" can avoid many email questions being generated.

Oh and your links to French pages are worth more to you if they are from French sites hosted in France, and in French etc..same applies to other languages..

Your French pages would even score better ( be higher in each country's SERPs ) were they to be hosted in France, and the German pages in Germany etc..

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