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Sitemap.xml Files, Google Webmaster Tools And I18n

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#1 wizardworks


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Posted 21 August 2009 - 03:01 PM


This is my first post as this username since I could not retrieve my password, oh well. Here goes.

A client of mine has a web site that has been translated into multiple languages and each site is using a subdomain for example: www.es.URL.com (I know I don't love the www either, but that is something I can fix later). The main site is at www.URL.com in English. We use Google Webmaster Tools, but have not configured the profile to select a country, to manage the English site and its version of the sitemap.xml file. sitemap.xml files for all the different language sites currently exist but we are not doing anything with them. We are not doing as well as we could be in different language searches so we are kicking off an i18n SEO campaign. A very simple place to start is to inform Google of all the sitemap.xml files but I would like to know what is the best approach for this. The way I see it, there are a options:

1. Use the same Webmaster Tools account and set up multiple "sites".
2. Use the same Webmaster Tools "site" and just add all the sitemaps (maybe this cannot be done as www.URL.com is different than www.es.URL.com)
3. Use different Webmaster Tools accounts, one for each subdomain and set the country where the language is most common for each profile. I feel this is a might be viewed as SPAMMY though, and my general rule of thumb is if it feels SPAMMY it probably is.

Does anyone have any experience with this? BTW - for our industry's top keywords we are on page 1 in google.com, and for the rest of the languages (.fr, .es, .sv, .de etc.), we are on page 3 or 4, so it is no horrible or anything. I just know that I have changed Webmaster Tools Profile locations before and have seen big boosts in Google.CA for a Canadian web site.

Thanks for your thoughts, suggestions and experiences!

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