Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
Did you know Google has an official FAQ, frequently asked questions, document just on the internationalization of your site? It is designed to help SEOs and webmasters make their sites localized and internationalized while considering the impact on search engines.
We had a very interesting yet delicate issue with one of our clients at Epiphany recently.
A multilingual website is any website that offers content in more than one language. Examples of multilingual websites might include a Canadian business with an English and a French version of its site, or a blog on Latin American soccer available in both Spanish and Portuguese. A multi-regional website is one that explicitly targets users in different countries.
Webmaster Level: Intermediate
We recently had a bit of a head-scratcher with a new e-commerce client and problems with geo-targeting the correct site to the correct region. Basically, the correct site wasn’t targeting the correct region and in most cases “.com” seemed to rank vaguely well everywhere; with the .co.uk and .com.au sites nowhere in their respective regions. The client is a small business with fairly low average sale values that ships to just these three English speaking countries referenced.
If your site targets users in many languages and, optionally, countries, you can use Sitemaps to provide Google with rel="alternate" hreflang="x" . These annotations help Google serve the correct language or regional URL to searchers. More information.
Working with websites that targets several countries is always challenging, especially from an SEO point of view, people just don’t seem to get that doing SEO in different countries goes way beyond different languages. I would go as far as to say there are probably more website struggling with geo targeting issues in one form or another than it is websites that are all ok and ranking in all the relevant countries they are targeting. If you can imagine that the different Google TLD’s are people, you have Francois (Google.fr), Ingrid (Google.no), Helmut (Google.de) and so on.
Many websites serve users from around the world, with content that's translated, or targeted to users in a certain region.
The world is shrinking and with it the need to support content for more users means supporting more languages. Supporting multiple languages on websites is nothing new, but with browser and search engine technology starting to rely on structured data, it has never been more important to make sure you are using the correct markup. This is where rel="alternate" hreflang="x" comes in handy.
Google announced better support for webmasters to communicate their multilingual content to Google with a new link element markup.
Google clarifies webmaster questions around potential conflicting nature of rel canonical and hreflang annotation. Briefly about rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”
This might be an obvious point to many SEOs but Pierre Far from Google clarified that if you have specific landing pages for the same product but targeting different languages/countries, you can change the title tag of the page without concern.
A month or so ago Google announced they are now supporting the HREFLANG markup for translated content that they used to mark as duplicate.
Many SEOs start off by looking after local clients. I offer my SEO Services to Melbourne (Australia not USA) based businesses with a strong focus on ranking in Melbourne and the SEO strategy for getting them ranked have a strong local flavour to it . But like with any business as they grow they want to tackle more markets and when they want to expand in to different markets including international that creates a slew of issues. Do I stick with my current domain? Do I create new sites with geo-targeted TLD’s?
hreflang is just one of many input signals. Having said that, there are two things you might want to fix: - you are missing the self-hreflang annotation (e.g. on the .com you point to .com.au, . co.nz and others, but not to itself as mentioned in the help center) - your hreflang and rel-canonical is inconsistent. For an example, compare the hreflang for com.au on www.woolovers.com/information/Nordic-Sweaters.aspx with the rel-canonical on that .com.au-url. You will spot a difference (which seems to be there quite consistent, uppercase/lowercase mix-up).