Multiple languages, website localization and SEO

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I’ve seen many questions about issues related to website localization and multiple languages all over the web. One of the most commonly asked questions is does it count as a duplicated content in the eyes of search engines?

At the SMX Confernece in Sydney Australia, Priyank Garg and Greg Grothaus, Yahoo’s and Google’s search engineers, shared some wisdom with us regarding this common issue.

If you use multiple country domains (ccTLD), even if content is in the same language (identical content) on all of your localized sites (for instance you have it all in English, as it commonly happens with USA, UK and Australia), you will not experience any duplicated content issues / penalties. This is true for both Google and Yahoo, however, you might get some penalty if you abuse this feature (spammy sites) and if you don’t localize your site properly.

A few tips for proper localization of a website:

  1. Use Google Webmaster Tools to set a proper website geotargeting.
  2. Use ccTLD-s (country specific TLD-s) for localized versions of your websites.
  3. Get backlinks from regional sources. Try get listed in some directories specialized for the region you are targeting and try getting some organic backlinks from local websites.
  4. Submit the localized website into proper regional category in DMOZ.
  5. If possible, translate the website into the language of the region you are targeting, this will actually help a lot.

About Toni Anicic

eCommerce Consultant

SEO. Professional gaming. Home-brewed beer. Magento Certified Solution Specialist.

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1 comment

  1. Solid advice on all 5 points. Although If you ask me DMOZ has jumped the shark. Getting in these days seems like a popularity contest.

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