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Using different internet country code top-level domains

Creating multiple sites, same general products

2:18 am on Feb 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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joined:May 11, 2012
posts: 284
votes: 3

So, about a year ago I purchased mysite.au, mysite.ca and mysite.co.uk on top of my mysite.com which I had owned and operate for several years. The problem is, I can't decide the best way to use these sites to push sales.

Originally, I tuned co.uk, .au, and .co.uk into individual blogs with banner ads in their sidebar pushing people to the .com site where they could buy goods.

In the end all of the traffic coming from Australia, the UK, etc to my .com site, hurt my .com site's ability to rank well in the USA. Or at least that was the thought. I decided to can my internet country code top-level domains.

Problem is, I still own them and want to do something with them. I feel like I can use them to better build my business in other countries.

Now, a few carts allow for me to create multiple storefonts where you manage multiple shops that share the same customers, products and sales. I could say that site-A can sell products 1 & 2 but site B can only sell 1. This works if certain products can't be shipped, for whatever reason, to a particular country.

My problem is, if let's say two sites share the same product and you have mysite.com/product1.html and mysite.co.uk/product2.html, how is that not considered duplicate content and a "no no" in Google's eyes?

I noticed that in Google Webmaster Tools I can target a specific site to a specific country. So, in other words my .com site can target USA and .au for Australia, co.uk. for the UK, etc. Does that prevent Google from seeing the site as duplicate content, meaning that each domain is targeting a specific area and .com USA browsers don't relate to what .au Australia browsers see?

I been studying other sites out there that have multiple internet country code top-level domains like "Bed Bath & Beyond" which has a .com and .ca site (maybe even more). When I put the two side-by-side, the layout is the same (most likely the same cart) and so are a lot of the same products.

For instance, check out:

-- from the Canada site


-- from the USA site


Both sites are selling the same product, same url, same product description, etc. The difference is one sells the item in USD pricing, the other in CAD. BUT still, the content duplicates itself. How is this not hurting BB&B?

On the flip side, when I go to other sites like Amazon and view their Canada site and UK sites, the sites appear much more different on the surface (compared to BB&B). But if I take any of their product urls and replace .com with .ca, I noticed the same product url is active across both domains.

My goal with all of this is to gain more sales and I feel like having a .co.uk site will allow me to promote the site easier across the UK, same with Australia and other international domains. Just trying to find the best and most effective way to use the domains?
10:09 pm on Feb 25, 2014 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 10, 2004
votes: 16

the content on ccTLDs are inherently geotargeted and are normally filtered to the appropriate country index for google search.
this means there won't be a duplicate content problem since google.com and rest-of-world search indexes will typically contain your example.com urls instead of example.co.uk, etc.

the geotargeting specification in GWT is only available for gTLDs.

if you use your ccTLDs this way you will essentially be driving search traffic from those country indexes to your example.com site.
this probably won't work too well unless you have region-specific content on the ccTLDs and in that case you might as well keep the visitor on site.
2:01 am on Feb 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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joined:May 11, 2012
posts: 284
votes: 3

I guess my question is, if I use a shopping cart with the ability to handle multiple storefonts and the visitors to the co.uk site stay on THAT site and buy on THAT site, then it wont hurt the .com site? It's my impression that links on the co.uk site to my .com site, hurt the .com site but if I keep everything separate then it has no effect, right? Otherwise, if I'm going to connect all of the sites together, the content has to be relative the country of which the internet country code top-level domain belongs to.