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Sub Domains For International Sites


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#1 dowhatnow

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:10 AM

I have a client that is going international, the tech team didn't consult me when deciding how this was going to be handled from a domain point of view.
Their solution is have the site.com as the main site and then Gio IP visitors for their local countries to e.g. us.site.com or fr.site.com.

I'm trying to figure out the potential problems with this so here is my list so far:


Duplicate content - US and UK site hosted on the same domain - does this class as dup content if it's on a sub domain?
Difficulties with link building
All regional copies of the site hosted from a UK IP - will this cause a problem?




Anyone think of anything else?

#2 Randy

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:46 AM

Your biggest potential problem is one you didn't mention. It has to do with out the GEO IP redirection is happening.

Does the back end system that's doing the Geo redirect based upon the IP number of the user have a hole for the search engine spiders to slip through?

If not, you're going to have some significant difficulty getting all of the pages indexed. Since pretty much all of the major spiders are going to report coming from a US based IP number, the only content they'd ever be able to see if the US content, unless someone has thought through it enough to give search engine spiders and their user-agents a free pass around the Geo redirect.

#3 dowhatnow

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 08:43 AM

QUOTE(Randy @ Jun 11 2009, 12:46 PM) View Post
Your biggest potential problem is one you didn't mention. It has to do with out the GEO IP redirection is happening.

Does the back end system that's doing the Geo redirect based upon the IP number of the user have a hole for the search engine spiders to slip through?

If not, you're going to have some significant difficulty getting all of the pages indexed. Since pretty much all of the major spiders are going to report coming from a US based IP number, the only content they'd ever be able to see if the US content, unless someone has thought through it enough to give search engine spiders and their user-agents a free pass around the Geo redirect.


God, thanks. I totally over looked that.

I'm still struggling with how search engines will handle the the sub domains on the server. Will it treat them as 'different' sites and as they are in local language will it attribute it to that countries search engine or will it base it on the server IP?

#4 qwerty

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 10:32 AM

I believe subdomains, as opposed to subdirectories, are still being treated as separate sites by the engines.

As far as determining what country a site is from, they use a number of signals, most of which you're not going to have, like IP address/server location, registration data and the presence of a national top-level domain. But depending on the service the site is providing (that is, whether it's promoting something that requires locality), it may not matter. If somebody in Milan is looking for a plumber, then naturally the engines aren't doing their job if they return a plumber in Sydney whose site happens to be in Italian.

But if it's just a matter of relevance to keywords, having those keywords in the language searchers are using is essential, and optimizing well for them may well be enough.




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