We are running a multi-language site in Czech and Slovak (Central Europe/European Union). The languages are very similiar and both countries almost perfectly understand each other. The site is IT news-related and we even have editors from both countries, so articles are written randomly in both languages. Even the market is shared in some ways so we are selling the advertising placements to companies both from Czech and Slovak republic by visitor IP (Geo database).
The primary domain is somesite.sk. We have a 301 redirect from somesite.cz to somesite.sk. However, results on CZ Google really suck, the site is basically non-existent in the results (on the other hand, on SK, we are always topping the results). We are looking for a way to solve this.
I know that Google defaults to worldwide and there are some more factors which affect the results (local companies and sites have higher priority on worlwide search), but still, is there any way to boost the performance in Czech-only search results?
Since we've used 301 for the last 3 years, nobody is linking to somesite.cz. All backlinks are to somesite.sk.
Would aliasing help instead of using 301 in this case? Also specifying <DIV "lang="> <p "lang="> and <h "lang="> for all articles? Please keep in mind that about 30% of the words in both languages are the same and the rest are very similiar, so specifying might not always be the best idea -- maybe it's better to fool Google so it suggests auto-correct. Maybe also a detection script which detects the visitor by IP and uses the corresponding TLD by his location (that could help spread backlinks to both TLDs in both countries)? Two sitemaps?
The primary advertising market is still SK though. We don't want to cannibalize SK, only improve performance in CZ.
What is your suggestion please? Thank you very much.
Edited by Dominik, 17 December 2009 - 08:43 AM.