|Geotargeting a website - basic questions|
Hello, this is dumb question but Ive searched all over a net, trying to find an answer to it! :)
So bear with me here! Im a newbie.. :(
Basically, im trying to Geotargeting USA,Ca,Fr,It,Uk, etc ... ive settled to use www.example.com/us instead of subdomain or a whole new site. But can someone tell me, what to put on the subdirectories? besides the site maps (i.e. clone the root, www.example.com or just leave it blank?
what are you actually trying to achieve?
why are US/UK/Ca different? will the Fr/It be in their respective languages?
|why are US/UK/Ca different? |
You're not Canadian are you? ;)
Separate areas can be based on either country or language-- sometimes both-- depending on whether you've got location-specific information. If it's travel or commerce, you would definitely want different areas for, say, Spain and Argentina, or US and UK. If it's information, one per language is enough-- unless you're in a field where dialectal differences might cause confusion. (Cooking sites, say. A "pat" of butter in the UK is very different from a "pat" in the US.)
One more preliminary question. Is there a "default" country, or are they all parallel?
If one country is the default, then a translation of the front page would be appropriate for the other versions.
If all countries are parallel, then you're allowed to indulge yourself by having a splash screen. So long as it doesn't use Flash animation. And then you'll have a fistful of pages that are all translations of each other.
I would highly recommend registering a new domain (with proper ccTLD) for each country you want to target.
|I would highly recommend registering a new domain (with proper ccTLD) for each country you want to target. |
For more regional geotargeting, subdirectories are fine. But at the global scale you're talking about here, the TLD is so important.
cultdevision - Welcome to WebmasterWorld.
Forgive me if I've got this wrong... but I'm guessing that the way you've asked your question makes it sound like you may think geotargeting is to provide a wish list of the countries you wish to rank in, rather than to make sure that your country-specific content is channeled to the appropriate geo-area.
Note that Google prefers to favor an actual local presence. As mentioned, country-coded TLDs are the best way of reflecting that. Subdirectories or subdomains might also work... but they're more for language-related content than for country-specific presence. You can also set preferences for a .com to target a specific country, but that's not a multi-country solution.
If you've got nothing to put into the subdirectories, it may be that you're not understanding what geotargeting is for.
>>If you've got nothing to put into the subdirectories, it may be that you're not understanding what geotargeting is for.
exactly, which is why i asked what the OP was actually trying to achieve.
@lucy24 i'm from UK, but i have a good friend who is french canadian, i've also travelled around the states more than most 'americans', so i'm well aware of the differences ... both in language/words/meaning and spelling, it's actually a right pain for me as for my main site topic words like colour/color are very important and used a lot.
one question about country specific tld's. say you went out and got a tld for each country you want to target e.g au, de, ru etc.. would you have to make a separate website for each domain? would that be the best & safest way to do it?
|would you have to make a separate website for each domain? |
The answer depends on whether you are in an SEO forum or an Apache forum. Here the answer is Yes. In Apache you would get a long boring answer involving the difference between physical files on your server, and URLs that the user sees. Proxying might be worth the trouble if you have a huge number of images shared by all sites.
Ok, so if we have different ccTLDs for each country, how would you deal with duplicate content or is that not so important if you are targeting differing geo search results? The question specifically relates to differing countries that share the same language as I have always understood that dup content oes not carry across languages.
By amazing coincidence there is a thread right next door that touches on this question:
If you call them "en-us" "en-ca" "en-gb" and so on, you can pass them off as separate languages. Call it "en-au" and it really is a separate language.
|if we have different ccTLDs for each country |
That also gives you a built in safety factor from worrying about duplicate content. With country domains, Google essentially targets each one to that country and ignores the apparent "conflict". By using ccTLDs, you're following a practice that Google has long recommended.