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What do you think of making a collection of the first part of the IPīs belonging to each country ( so that we can make something like lycos, to redirect to the proper page, depending on the country ).
Maybe this is pretty difficult, but I think that this is very important for many of us.
for one thing there are a number of multilingual countries and a number of international languages...for another there are ever more of us working on a multilingual basis
leave users to choose what language or locality they want manually and remember that they had to arrive from somewhere...if that was a link or search engine in a particular language they may not be best pleased if you have a set up that decides you know better than they what language they wish to work in
But then I see the logic in it. Business sites tend to track their visitors as much as possible and legally allowed. Knowing your visitors allows you to better target them. Giving the potential customer exactly what he wants and as fast as possible - before he clicks to the competition - is a key.
If you do a B2C site for several languages, and the first time visitor arrives on a foreign language, chances are good the visitor does not get the message in full. Chances are good he does not understand the language or is just too lazy to read a foreign text. Chances are good he does not care to look for a flag and click on it.
In most cases an automatic redirect however annoying it will be for a small percentage of visitors will turn more visitors to customers than a site that let's visitors choose from different flags.
Remember I'm talking about B2C sites here.
I think the best solution to this dilemma is to avoid redirection, aoutomatic or on users choice, as far as possible.
Setting up independent domains for the main languages targeted and promoting them in the countries where those languages are spoken mostly really is the best way to communicate with folks, erm customers, in their own language.
The objective is not all about serving differente languages, but serving different subjects and advertisement.
For example, Portugal and Brazil speak the same language, but I could want to give brazilians a different content or different ads ( from companies of their country ). Portugal is on Europe, and Brazil on South America. It doesnīt make sense showing ads from brazilian companies to portuguese, because they will not buy anything :)
The same could happen for US and UK markets, and much others.
My problem is that my site is already well know on Brazil ( some of the brazilian users even think that itīs a brazilian site ), my current advertisers donīt gain nothing on being showed up to them ( ISPīs and other sites that only want portuguese users ), and Iīm not showing any ads to brazilians. My first main target is Portugal, and having a link saying: If you are from Brazil, click here may confuse some of them ( hey, wasnīt this site from Brazil ? ). I have a new domain for Brazil, but we cannot forget that it envolves starting a relation of trust all from scratch ( well, Iīll have to write that it belongs to the other site... but this only work with people, not with SEīs ). This is my situation. I believe that this is happening for many other people
I donīt like being redirect for language x or y, but this is different. This is redirecting for apropriate content.
Yes, itīs pretty difficult.
Hey, that idea for the credit cards is pretty good. If the biggest credit card companies could do this, or at least when the country isnīt the same ask for some confirmation, that would end some robberies..
Visa is trying to implement a password protection, but passwords can be stole too.