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I've had one of my site's pages translated into Swedish. The URL I want for the page includes two words that would normally be accented. (å and ö)
Is it okay to include them in the URL as accented? Or should I leave them unaccented? They are keywords for the page, so since I've gone to the effort to try and get Swedish traffic, I'd like to get the biggest bang for my buck in the search engines.
Swedish eh, hmm. What about Danish ;)
>Is it okay to include them in the URL as accented?
NO. I've been experiencing with all Scandinavian languages, that search engines will have difficulty handling URL's with accented characters in them.
>Or should I leave them unaccented?
YES. Use aa for å and oe for ö etc.
I am not sure I agree with Rumbas on the substitutes though. Search engines will equate å and ä with a and ö with o and so will humans with non-Swedish keyboards. Try searches for Västerås, Vasteras and Vaesteraas and compare the results. Note that those who were smart enough to optimize for Vasteras will get better placement, and that is of course what non-Swedes will type into the SE.
Agreed, but imo search engines are not the only concern here. I've experienced webservers that go down when trying to access pages that contain øåæ etc. in the url. I've also experienced clicks from SERPS where the landing page wont resolve right when it contains the non-ascii charaters.
If you know how to setup your webserver, you probably wont have problems, but just to make sure I would definetly not use them in the url.
Of course I use them every other place in the code/text for the reasons Rencke points out. It IS important to target phrases that can be typed in from an english keyboard - specially true in travel and real estate, where location is important.
Also it is not possible to register Swedish domainnames (.se) with accents until the 21st of october 2003. (see also www.nic.se)
You can also check if your keyword is searched for and how populair the word is with and without accents. That can give you a clue which to choose.
The domain is still not active..
I'm still conviced that you shouldn't make pages like www.domain.com/væsterås.html - but hey that's just me. Getting a domain like www.væsterås.se is another topic ;)
Swedish accents in URL's are only possible when you have registered such a name.
For the domain you are right (Information about IDN [nic.se]), however the domain is only a part of the URL. An HTTP URL takes the form:
The <host> can be something like:
If ":<port>" is omitted, the port defaults to 80. A site with a Swedish domain can already have accented letters in the <path> and the <searchpart>. Click here [google.com] to see some examples.
<added>I just noticed Rumbas finished his posting while I was looking for all the right links.</added>
Another thing I did a search in Google a while back for certain words in Swedish, and I noticed that when I spelled them correctly (with accents), I got Google ads. I didn't get them when I didn't use the accents.
Also yesterday I checked something similar. With the Overture keyword checker I did a lookup for the words:
belgie (not correct)
The first one gave 3013 results, the second (and correct one) gave 354 results.
So I think the use of correct spelling depends on the search habits. Also some search engines see a difference between with or without accents. (Not Google btw). See for instance Altavista.
So depending on the country, depending on the search engine you should consider using accents in URL's I think.