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Master website vs. Other Language Sites on Google Search



8:25 am on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi All,

We currently have 6 fairly identical websites, in 6 different languages, with our main website in English, full copies of it in French and German, and part-copies in Chinese, Japanese and Spanish (with some pages remaining in english for these)

However, after optimising our target pages on French and German for them to be picked by Google.fr and Google.de, it seems that for a number of these pages, the .com website remains the favourite on the Search Rankings.

Which brings us to the first question:
"Does Google see .com sites as the Master or headquarters site and therefore give it more weight and higher ranking over language sites?"

Now, as per our domain of activity (IT), a lot of our key keywords are in English language, even for our non-english websites. Could this have an influence on the fact that .com appears above our language sites in the rankings. In other terms:

Does Google give higher ranking to .com when the search term is in english, even if a language site is optimised for that english keyword?

Thanks for your help,


3:50 pm on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I am interested in this question also.

Let me tell you how our stuff has gone so far.
We own a few tld's for different European languages as we want our brand to flourish worldwide. We have recently began launching these (before they redirected to .com) as separate websites.

So far we have seen Google behave ok and rank them in the rite search engines (.es for example) but our .co.uk and .com domains seriously suck at ranking for their respective engines and it seems this has gotten worse recently. Could totally be bad luck though.

[edited by: GF_Diablos at 3:50 pm (utc) on April 22, 2008]


12:49 pm on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi Diablo,

Well, this is not exactly the same situation for us. What we noticed mainly, on the different Google versions is the following:

We have a keyword in English on, say "Google.fr" and in some cases, our optimized ".fr" page will show up as we expect it to do, sometimes the ".com" page will show up, sometimes both will show up in one order or the other...

But the most disturbing thing which has been happening to us a few times so far is the following :

One of our French page ranks fairly well (By the end of the first search result page for a very, very competitive Keyword) and then, get completely kicked out of the rankings and replaced with its ".com" equivalent.

Then, a few days later the ".fr" page takes over again and so on... Until at some points one of the pages seems to settle down (which is great when it is the ".fr", not really when it is the ".com")

Is there a logic behind this, and a way to influence the way this kind of situation arises and evolves?


4:08 pm on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

It does seem that English language keywords on a non-English website site are sometimes overshadowed by the Engligh language site. I can appreciate that this kind of ranking would be a challenge for Google - especially on A country specific Google TLD. I see this on some sites I work with, A couple thoughts:

1. Are you using Webmaster Tools to identify the country targets for each website?

2. Are you doing the searches from an IP address in the countries involved, or are all your searches being done just from one country?

3. Are you doing general web searches, or "pages from [this country]" searches.


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