I have a situation similar to Shai's, and wonder if I could ask for everyone's input. New user here, apologies if this should be a new thread.
A client wants to divide their domain into country-based subdirectories such as domain.com/uk, domain.com/au, domain.com/fr, etc. Each subdir will have totally unique local content, not just translations. The root domain.com will be for the US and ROW.
They also want GeoIP so that, for example, users in the UK will be forwarded from domain.com (or any non-UK subdirectory) to domain.com/uk. As I understand, this is primarily for regulatory compliance, and they can't just let users choose which site they want to use.
Unfortunately the client has no budget to purchase ccTLDs (instead of subdirectories) for the country-specific pages. Subdomains are possible but they prefer subdirectories because they pass authority to the root domain.
Their goal is for each local subdirectory to rank highly in local search, similar to Apple.com, Apple.com/uk, etc.
Is this subdirectory-GeoIP approach workable from a search perspective, or fatally flawed? Will penalties to subdirectories strongly affect the whole domain?
Thanks in advance for any help.