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1> Main Index in English using a flag image to direct visitors to local language section index.
2> Local langauge script index for pages in that language.
3> Using a flag image to direct back to main index.
4> No mix of language scripts.
5> Links back to each language index obviously gives weight to that index page. Realistic and sensible links between sub sections within that language area where appropriate using the applicable script
1> If for example there were 50 pages in English and 150 pages in local script we are surely loosing out on giving weight to the main domain index by not putting a link back to the main index from the non English pages, so the main index is not getting the weight of those internal links, which would surely help.
What are your views of putting in for example English language script link back to the main domain index on a Chinese / Thai / korean / Japanese / Vietnamese etc language page?
Should we stick to using an image ( i.e flag )?
You have a website about Seoul in English, but also have in Korean, is it 'safe' to use Korean script on the English language page to direct visitors to the Korean language page and vice versa or best not to mix scripts?
My concern is a 200 page website with 50 pages in English is only getting 49 internal links back to the main domain page instead of a potential 199 links ( as the other 150 would be using a flag image as the link back to the main domain page ).
2> Could using an image on the non English langauge pages as a link back to the main domain page cause a problem when search engines find what would be the same flag image 150 x back to the main domain ( which would be three times as many as English language text links from the English langauge pages ).
Or could we just go ahead and use a normal text link?
Could this have an affect on the main domain page in the eyes of the search engine?
Apologies if this has all been gone through before. But the ways search engines view these issues can change over time.
( i.e flag )?
Images are fine, but I would avoid flags as images. Which flag would you use to represent English? A USA flag or a British one? Would a Canadian flag mean English or French? Also, as we're talking about the east Asia market, don't forget that flags have political connotations. Which flag would you use for a Traditional Chinese version, for example?
Language isn't necessarily related to a country, so your images should reflect that - best to stick to the word for the language (English, Franšais, Deutsch etc.) instead.