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This whole problem has also made me think about the a possible problem with Google not crawling the .co.uk site as it will always be redirected to the .ie site. Is there any way round this?
So, even if I get the verification to work, I am still left with a problem right? Would you expect the current number of the .co.uk pages indexed to just start to drop over time as google is no longer able to crawl them?
Is there any way round this? Or do I just tell the client to buy the .com and have a example.com/en. and example.com/ie/ directories?
If youíre going to localize, make it easy for Googlebot to crawl all language versions of your site. Consider cross-linking page by page. In other words, you can provide links between pages with the same content in different languages. This can also be very helpful to your users. Following our previous example, letís suppose that a French speaker happens to land on http://example.ca/en/mountain-bikes.html; now, with one click he can get to http://example.ca/fr/vťlo-de-montagne.html where he can view the same content in French.
To make all of your site's content more crawlable, avoid automatic redirections based on the user's perceived language. These redirections could prevent users (and search engines) from viewing all the versions of your site.
Subdomains are possible but they prefer subdirectories because they pass authority to the root domain.
Will penalties to subdirectories strongly affect the whole domain?
They also want GeoIP so that, for example, users in the UK will be forwarded from domain.com (or any non-UK subdirectory) to domain.com/uk. As I understand, this is primarily for regulatory compliance, and they can't just let users choose which site they want to use.
But this strategy is also 2 steps, so I wonder if it's equally slow?