There are at least 3 ways of implementing multiple languages
- Use a directory for each language http://mysite.com/ar or http://mysite.com/eg
- use country extension in the domain http://mysite.com.jo etc
- use subdomains (sub-domains are considered to be independent domains by Google) (
Comparing approaches and Google facts:
- Each domain is independent including subdomains (mysite.com and tom.mysite.com are completely different). Also each page is independent and has its own page rank, keywords relevancy factors, etc.
- Subdomains don’t pass link juice’ and value for inbound links across the whole site.
- Sub folder structures are best for allowing link ‘juice’ to be passed to the entire site. This impact Google page rank. A site passes juice internally using n-1 formula (a page ranked 3 will give a rank 2 to a linked page)
- From a user experience perspective avoid using geo-location at the hosting level (from an IP address perspective). If you must use geo then give users the option to choose languages they want (for example I’m an Arab in Chicago who likes to see the content in Arabic)
- Presenting sites in multiple languages isn’t ‘duplicate content’ when breaking it out into various /folders and then languages, each will and should have different contents. By translating the content you are not creating duplicate content, but remember this:
- From a keyword perspective Book is not the same as Ketaab
- Keyword research needs to be done for each language (the search pattern for Arabs is not the same as the Hispanic community or the Germans). So you must do SEO in each language and different in-bound linking strategies, content creation and optimization, etc.
- From our own experience we have translated http://hostitwise.com to French (http://hostitwise.com/fr/ ) and used subfolders. I have the same exact contents on both folders, each was given its own ranking and never punished for duplicates) .
- Using the same language on different domains is duplicate (content presented in one language on hi.mysite.com is the same on hello.mysite.com)
Let us know what you think?