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EU hosting or is simple EU-registered domain + DNS point OK?

Necessary to totally clone site for Europe?



12:07 pm on Mar 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

(Pardon me if this is naive or has been covered elsewhere. If so please show me where-thanks!)

I have a USA-registered/hosted site that brings in nice orders from the UK and Europe in general, in a decent trickle that has definitely piqued my desire to intentionally attract more European traffic. I already registered mydomain.co.uk and mydomain.ch (.ch for Switzerland: apparently requires no company presence in country, good for general EU).

My question:
Must I clone my site entirely and host every page of it as a duplicate on an EU-based server? Or, will just having an EU domain name registered in an EU country, and pointing to my .com do the trick to get me included in EU search engines? Further, is there some way to create this scenario for every page on my site, ie:
mydomain.ch/blue_widgets points to mydomain.com/blue widgets, and so on?

I have concerns about sync-ing up dynamic content, for one thing...Ideally I'd like to just keep my site in English, with no big content changes other than maybe offering a worldwide currency converter, disclaimered as being for rough estimation purposes only.


2:49 pm on Mar 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member heini is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Lucky, the EU countries all have their own local TLDs, there's no such thing as a EU preference. If any search engines prefer THE local TLD, and alternatively a generic TLD (com, org, net etc). Second you have to look at the search engine landscape in the markets you are intending to target: are there any local engines? Generally the west european countries are straight Google land, with percentages up to 90% of the market.

Only in eastern and central european markets we still have large native SEs - the west has long been globalized.


3:30 pm on Mar 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks, Heini.

My understanding is:
most countries require a genuine legal presence there in order to register a local TLD, except for a tiny few exception countries, one of which is Switzerland (.ch). A Swiss domain can apparently get you into Germany's Google + locals by the side door.

I haven't really explored the German SE's too much (I had 2 years of Deutsch at university but kinda forgot it by now!)--
but when I tried submitting to some UK-centric directories a lot of them will only list companies based in the UK. All I know is, buyers in the UK love my products, and I want to bring it to them. If that means hosting a clone over there so I can make a quasi-twilight-zone-ish claim to be "a UK company", so be it.

But anyway- do you think it would be a bad idea to build a German-language info portal site full of German versions of my main KWs as spiderfood, as a doorway to my site here, so they would have to use/know English in order to buy-- is that too weird?


3:44 pm on Mar 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member heini is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Lucky, it's actually quite easy to register many local domains. Second with a .com for example, if you then additionally host it in the target country, you will be included in Google's results from that country.

Basically the best option is to register a local domain and translate your site. Even though in many european countries the understanding of english is very high a ecom site in local language will always sell much better, at least if the same or similar products can be had from a local competitor.


11:42 am on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have this exact problem and the solution I went for (after much research and talking to clever types) this:

The site currently uses purely a .com
We have the site hosted on a US server.
We are going to register many country-specific TLDs (mainly EU)
We will set up mirrors around the world for these TLDs that mirror our US server
Not so important to you maybe but: The site on the US server will then be developed to deliver country specific content based on what mirror is being used
Also, the visitor will be taken to their local mirror site always

We are confident that this will give visibility in local searches. We have mainly based the decision on the PHP site (and its various mirrors)


12:25 pm on Mar 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks so much, you guys. Your info has been enormously helpful. More questions: I went to Google.de and searched up my site, then clicked
'diese seite ubersetzen' (translate this site). The translator I plan to hire, and my own half-attendance through college German classes, tell me these translations are pretty comical. But (sorry, I have no way to do this in 'widget'speak) the question is:
Do German Googlers search for 'wholesale silver jewelry' or...'Silberne Schmucksache-Großhandelsversorgungsmaterialien'...or what? In other words, is our .com presently showing up in Google.de when German speakers search for our keywords in German?


3:41 pm on Apr 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I want to create a version of my website optimized for Spain. I can't register a .es domain name as they are about the most restricted TLD of all. My site will be in Spanish but I would also like to be found for people ticking the box for 'Páginas de Espańa' on Google. Finding a local host has been a nightmare - I have found several and gone all the way through their registration process to find out that they don't take cards and they want my Spanish bank details. I thought I'd try the multi-nationals and eventually settled on lycos.es but I've now got doubts as to whether their servers are physically located in Spain. Looking up the IP address of 'webcenter.lycos.es' doesn't help as it could be in Sweden or Germany as far as I can tell. Anyone know who I should try for hosting or if it will be OK with lycos? Many thanks.


4:52 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

talk4: I'm in Spain and can confirm that .es domains are very restricted. If I'm not mistaken, you need:
- Spanish hosting
- A business registered here (this means paying taxes to the Spanish government ;))
- An Spanish bank account (not by law, but required almost everywhere).
Even so, our government has changed recently and important changes in law are very probable.
If you want some spanish hosting service addresses, tell me and I'll sticky it.



2:58 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

i presume that for paginas en Espana there are the obvious restrictions, but in yahoo.es what would you have to do to get yourself included as part of the en castellano section?

With all the spanish speaking areas of the world how can they have geographical restrictions? So is it just the presence of castellano needed for that? Does that then mean the sites in valenciano, catalan... are restricted from that section then?


8:40 am on Apr 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

luckychucky wrote:
In other words, is our .com presently showing up in Google.de when German speakers search for our keywords in German?

Google will not translate German search terms into English - so the answer is no

If you include the German phrases in your otherwise english text, it will show up.
But you may get penalized by Google and more important you will disappoint viewers who do can not read English.

If you really want German (Austrian / Swiss) business you should setup pages in German (please use a translator, not bablefish etc) and be prepared to handel questions in German.


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