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Why merge the site's, better if you can keep them apart from an SEO point of view.
If however you have no choice then, i would suggest using canonicals (paynt - TM), which would be the various lingual versions being subdomains to the url, which to the most SE's are seperated sites, which you could interlink on each and every page to the alternate lingual versions. This would have a better effect than using sub-directories to manage the lingual versions, which would be identified and indexed as the same site.
Have you thought of seperate sites altogether for the linguals, as this would have the most profound effect SEO wise
I must use the USA URL which already exits as THE generic URL... hence the existing Euro URL must dissapear, because the euro company name (different to the usa one)dissapears at the same time...
The fact that there is thus only one URL to search for and to position did not strike me as a handicap (until now...). I was more worried about how to ensure in the best possible way that the SE's take into account that, behind the index splash page, there are multiple versions in multiple langauges.
Ideally, I would like to get top rankings on the big international SE's for the "generic" URL as well as top rankings in national SE's for the various language versions (sub domains of the generic URL)...
Is this Alice in Wonderland talk ??
Thanks again for responses