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Several Locations Question mysite.com/uk mysite.com/ca mysite.com/fr

How different should my content be for different countries?

     

schmeetz

9:12 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Currently a .com looking to add location. EG
mydomain.com (main US site)
mydomain.com/uk
mydomain.com/ca
mydomain.com/de
mydomain.com/es
mydomain.com/fr

UK content will be very similar to US and Canadian content.

Question 1
Will i rank in English speaking countries without changing most of the content?

Question 2
Will Google plow me for duplicate content?

Receptional Andy

9:34 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)



Hi schmeetz :)

IMO, if you want to target a geographic audience, then a local TLD is a must. If that is absolutely impossible, then I'd settle for subdomains. Subdirectories are going to be useful to an existing audience, but are much less likely to attract new visitors via search.

Will i rank in English speaking countries without changing most of the content?

No. Well, some of them, see below. If you're a .com hosted in the US, you'll likely have difficulty being associated with the right country via subdirectories and subdomains. For non-Eenglish languages you can show for language-specific services if search engine language detection works (and you prompt via tags).

Will Google plow me for duplicate content?

No-one gets "plowed" for duplicate content ;)

Search engines will have to go through a complex procedure to decide which of the many copies you intended to publish and is most relevant. That may or may not work out in your favour. You could conceivably end up with a poorly ranked /uk/ page replacing one of your well-ranked US ones, for instance.

Or you might end up with minimal problems. But I don't like to leave such things to chance ;)

schmeetz

11:03 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Thanks for your help Andy.

I KNOW...a local TLD would be the best. My head hurts thinking about creating a whole new site though.

I also suspect Google will soon consider TLD and sub dirs equal because they can't expect ppl to create a separate site for each country.

any additional feedback is appreciated ;-)

Receptional Andy

10:10 pm on Mar 26, 2009 (gmt 0)



I also suspect Google will soon consider TLD and sub dirs equal because they can't expect ppl to create a separate site for each country

I think the expectation is the reverse - a site operating internationally can likely manage to set up additional domains. It needn't be particularly tricky or expensive, and can be heavily based on your existing site. But if they're overly similar, you'd essentially be creating sites that all compete for the same rankings.

Part of the problem with subdirectories, is that it's by no means a certainty that those country codes are actually country codes. "Es", for instance, is also an acronym and many other things. You can find quite a few examples with advanced searches:

[google.com...]

Add to that fact That Google language detection is far from 100% (English pages? [google.com...] ) and you can see that you'd be chancing it with country codes in a directory name.

In comparison, and local TLD is an absolutely explicit declaration of intended geographic target. You'll immediately end up with listings in local search engines and localised results from the major search engines.

For Google there is the "set geographic target" option, I suppose, but that would be a severe compromise, at best.

 

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