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Multiple currencies on ecommerce site and Googlebot
dublinmike




msg:4573623
 5:37 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on best practices and/or their experience with this situation. We have an ecommerce site based in Europe (all of our products are priced in Euro). Recently, we've started geo-targeting so that if you're browsing from the US, the prices are converted into US dollars, from the UK, pounds sterling etc - we're supporting 12 currencies in total. The user can change the currency if our geo-targeting doesn't get it right for whatever reason. Our customer base is roughly as follows:

UK: 35%
Euro-area: 25%
US: 25%
Rest of world: 15%

If Googlebot only crawls from the US, I'm guessing that it's going to index all of our pages in US dollars. My initial thought is that we're going to see a slight rise in our US traffic (hopefully) but I'm afraid that our European traffic will take a dive and I'd like to take steps to avoid that.

In summary, does anyone have any ideas on how to tell Google "yes, you're seeing US dollars but only because you're in the US! We have all these other currencies too - so we're relevant elsewhere!". Any suggestions would be very welcome.

 

tedster




msg:4574028
 11:46 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

While I appreciate your concern in the abstract, in practice I've never seen a true issue. Google says they can handle this but without giving any details.

So if your scale of business is relatively small, I'd say don't borrow trouble. If your scale and aspirations are bigger, you may want to develop separate directories for various target markets and geo-target them in Webmaster Tools. Then you can link the options from various pages without concern for duplication of content.

As a general rule, I have found that varying content by some kind of auto-detection for the geography of the user has many, many pitfalls and I avoid it as much as possible. All it takes is someone traveling to another country but who wants their home country information, and you've hurt their usability.

rish3




msg:4574046
 12:32 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

You could show multiple "offers", in different currencies, via the spec at schema.org. Google will parse it. I'm not sure G does anything special if you include multiple offers in a single product, each with different currencies. It is supported and valid though.

See
http://schema.org/ [schema.org], and specifically:

Product [schema.org] and Offer [schema.org]

dublinmike




msg:4574075
 3:36 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thank you both for your advice. @rish3, I like the idea of marking up the data via schema.org on the product pages. Even if G doesn't do anything specific with it, at least we're making it known that US dollars is not the only currency offering.

@tedster, thanks for those points. I see what you mean re: separate dirs for separate markets but it seems overkill for such a relatively small difference in the pages (i.e. just the currency). This is definitely something worth considering though if we were to re-write some content for a specific market.

On your second point, I wrestled with myself for a couple of weeks before deciding to push ahead with the geo-targeting. I actually live in a country where I don't have a fantastic command of the native language so poor geo-targeting implementations are the bane of my existence! Presumably though, at any given point in time, there are more people in a specific country who would prefer the localised content than those who wouldn't; and, as I say, there is an 'opt-out' where the user can change the currency if they are away from home. In your experience, do you think the marginal benefit (not having to select their currency) to the many outweighs the poor experience of the few? I'm sure there are other pitfalls that have gone right over my head?

networkliquidators




msg:4574134
 6:38 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

As a general rule, I have found that varying content by some kind of auto-detection for the geography of the user has many, many pitfalls and I avoid it as much as possible. All it takes is someone traveling to another country but who wants their home country information, and you've hurt their usability.


Depending on your resources, you can allow their e-comm account to have multiple addresses for shipping and billing. In addition, you can allow them to set their home country through their account.

Also, if the user is logging in from a IP outside of their normal country, you can display a javascript message notification giving them a choice to decide on information they would like to view. I know where you are coming from, it simply comes down to time, money and resources, but not impossible.

Developers.... They keep the world spinning!

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