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Internationalization, Multilingual Sites and Duplicate Content



8:04 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi Everyone,

We have www.example.com in English that has 50,000+ URLs. We are in the process of building a new site example.de targeting German users.

The German site (www.example.de) will be a mirror of the English site at launch as we want to give a full experience to people visiting the .de domain. However, not all pages will be localized as we can't support that. We are planning on localizing the core sets of pages (~500) and leaving the rest in English. Post launch, we will have additional milestones to localize the remaining pages until the entire site is localized (converted to German).

Is this the correct way to go? Will this cause duplicate content issue?
Will adding "rel=canonical" tag on these pages solve the purpose?
I read Google guidelines and that seems to be the best way to go.

Is anybody using "rel=canonical" in similar situation?

Look forward to comments and feedback!

[edited by: tedster at 9:04 pm (utc) on Feb 9, 2011]
[edit reason] I changed the real domain name to example.com [/edit]


9:08 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

Hello Supriya21, and welcome to the forums.

There is no reason to be concerned about the content duplication. Google will geo target the .de domain to German search results and the .com will not conflict.

I would advise you NOT to use the cross-domain canonical link tag to point ot the .com. There can be long problems and delays if you ever try to change it. Instead, let Google learn about your .de URLs and translate all the content as soon as you can.


10:33 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

You can also do as Matt Cutts suggests and host the .de version of your content on de.example.com and geo target just that sub-directory to the .de reqion.


11:31 pm on Feb 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tedster and Sgt_Kickaxe!

Hi Tedster,

This is an interesting problem and I am being curious...

When we mirror example.com on example.de, there will be 50,000+ URLs/pages on example.de. Out of these 50,000 pages, only 500 will be in German and rest of the pages will be in English. Also, these rest of the pages will have the same content as their counterparts on example.com.

So do we leave these English pages on example.de just as is? Is there any need to add "noindex" on these pages?

Thanks for the tip on cross-domain canonical links. Will it affect site performance of example.de?

Hi Sgt_Kickaxe,

At this point we are already in the process of building example.de. So I guess it's tough to go back and build de.example.com. Thanks for the tip though.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 11:56 pm (utc) on Feb 9, 2011]
[edit reason] examplified domain [/edit]


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