Domain & URL Strategies for
Multilingual & Multinational Sites

              SMX West

          Sean Carlos
            ...
We're here




                       Sean Carlos             2
                 www.antezeta.com/blog
             sean [...
Many of us are likely from here




                         Sean Carlos             3
                   www.antezeta.com...
Our clients are probably here




                        Sean Carlos             4
                  www.antezeta.com/blo...
The English speaking world as seen by
Bing & Google




                        Sean Carlos             5
                ...
Organizing Multilingual &
Multinational Website Content

        Two Dimensions:
     Language & Geography

         1. Th...
1. Top Level Domains (TLDs)



      www.mysite.com                             gTLD
      www.mysite.mx                  ...
2. Subdomains



      en.mysite.com
      es.mysite.com
      it.mysite.com



                          Sean Carlos     ...
3. Directories (Folders) on the Web Server



       www.mysite.com/en
       www.mysite.com/es
       www.mysite.com/it

...
4. URL Parameters                                  Not recommended

●   Set a page's language and/or personalize
    for a...
5. Chance
                                                Not recommended
(A.K.A. no Organization)
●   Site pages
    –   ...
Organizing Multilingual &
Multinational Website Content

        Two Dimensions:
     Language & Geography

         1. Th...
Search Engines guess “Intended” Market

 ●   Search engines may associate a website to
     a geographic market by looking...
Influence of Incoming Links

●   Search engines will most likely consider the
    “location” of sites providing incoming
 ...
Users Scan Search Result URLs

●   Multiple studies have noted users scan
    URLs when deciding which search
    result t...
Specific considerations
for the recommended options




                   Sean Carlos             16
             www.ant...
Country Code Top Level Domains
(www.mysite.it)
Tailoring for content differences, e.g. $, €
Strong signal target market
...
Subdomains for each Market
(it.mysite.com)
No registration issues
Host each subdomain in local market to
 set server IP ...
Directories for each Market
(www.mysite.com/it)
No registration issues
All links going to same domain
  –   but from dis...
Thank You!

            Sean Carlos
   Web Marketing Training & Consulting

     sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
         ...
US only Site? You're not Immune....

●   If you
    –   choose a cute domain extension from a
        small country
    – ...
                                                      




     Domain & URL Strategies for
    Multilingual & Multination...
                                                              




         We're here




                               ...
                                                              




        Many of us are likely from here




           ...
                                                             




        Our clients are probably here




              ...
                                                             




        The English speaking world as seen by
        Bi...
                                                        




    Organizing Multilingual &
    Multinational Website Conte...
                                                                      




        1. Top Level Domains (TLDs)



        ...
                                                           




    2. Subdomains



          en.mysite.com
          es....
                                                          




    3. Directories (Folders) on the Web Server



         ...
                                                                                




        4. URL Parameters            ...
                                                                             




         5. Chance
                     ...
                                                         




    Organizing Multilingual &
    Multinational Website Cont...
                                                                     




        Search Engines guess “Intended” Market

...
                                                              




    Influence of Incoming Links

    ●   Search engines...
                                                                 




    Users Scan Search Result URLs

    ●   Multiple ...
                                                     




         Specific considerations
    for the recommended options...
                                                                




    Country Code Top Level Domains
    (www.mysite.it...
                                                           




    Subdomains for each Market
    (it.mysite.com)
    No...
                                                                




    Directories for each Market
    (www.mysite.com/i...
                                                          




    Thank You!

                Sean Carlos
       Web Mark...
                                                                     




    US only Site? You're not Immune....

    ●  ...
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SMX West 2010: SEO Domain & URL Strategies for International Websites

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Presentation from SMX West 2010 on search engine visibility considerations for the use of domains and URLs to organize website content. Companion blog post: http://www.antezeta.com/blog/international-domain-strategies

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SMX West 2010: SEO Domain & URL Strategies for International Websites

  1. 1. Domain & URL Strategies for Multilingual & Multinational Sites SMX West Sean Carlos 3 March 2010 Sean Carlos 1 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  2. 2. We're here Sean Carlos 2 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  3. 3. Many of us are likely from here Sean Carlos 3 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  4. 4. Our clients are probably here Sean Carlos 4 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  5. 5. The English speaking world as seen by Bing & Google Sean Carlos 5 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  6. 6. Organizing Multilingual & Multinational Website Content Two Dimensions: Language & Geography 1. The Five Options 2. Considerations driving a domain / URL strategy Sean Carlos 6 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  7. 7. 1. Top Level Domains (TLDs) www.mysite.com gTLD www.mysite.mx ccTLD www.mysite.it Sean Carlos 7 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  8. 8. 2. Subdomains en.mysite.com es.mysite.com it.mysite.com Sean Carlos 8 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  9. 9. 3. Directories (Folders) on the Web Server www.mysite.com/en www.mysite.com/es www.mysite.com/it Sean Carlos 9 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  10. 10. 4. URL Parameters Not recommended ● Set a page's language and/or personalize for a target market – Google often uses hl=<code> to set a page's language, e.g. ● http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/ answer.py?hl=en&answer=62399 – Bing country and language settings can be changed by appending setmkt=<code> to the bing URL, e.g. ● http://www.bing.com/?setmkt=de-CH Sean Carlos 10 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  11. 11. 5. Chance Not recommended (A.K.A. no Organization) ● Site pages – are in various languages with no particular organization. – may contain multiple languages within the same page. Sean Carlos 11 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  12. 12. Organizing Multilingual & Multinational Website Content Two Dimensions: Language & Geography 1. The Five Options 2. Considerations driving a domain / URL strategy Sean Carlos 12 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  13. 13. Search Engines guess “Intended” Market ● Search engines may associate a website to a geographic market by looking at domain country codes (ccTLD) or server IP for generic domains (gTLD) Google allows geo  assignment of  gTLDs in Google  Webmaster Tools –  Google ONLY Sean Carlos 13 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  14. 14. Influence of Incoming Links ● Search engines will most likely consider the “location” of sites providing incoming links when ranking a page for a particular market Sean Carlos 14 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  15. 15. Users Scan Search Result URLs ● Multiple studies have noted users scan URLs when deciding which search result to select – Microsoft Research – Marketing Sherpa Search Marketing Guide 2008 ● Users probably prefer “their” country specific domain in search results Sean Carlos 15 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  16. 16. Specific considerations for the recommended options Sean Carlos 16 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  17. 17. Country Code Top Level Domains (www.mysite.it) Tailoring for content differences, e.g. $, € Strong signal target market Track separately in Webmaster Tools, WA If language spoken in multiple countries – link dilution (“duplicate content”) If multiple languages used in country – still have issues, e.g. Canada, Switzerland Registration hurdles – physical presence or other requirements Sean Carlos 17 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  18. 18. Subdomains for each Market (it.mysite.com) No registration issues Host each subdomain in local market to set server IP geolocation signal (but will you?) Track separately in Webmaster Tools, WA Market needs may require multiple subdomains for same language Link dilution (but more relevant) Weaker URL signal for users scanning search results Sean Carlos www.antezeta.com/blog 18 sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  19. 19. Directories for each Market (www.mysite.com/it) No registration issues All links going to same domain – but from discordant sources Need multiple directories for some lang.? Ambiguous geolocation targeting – server IP signal not helpful – Mixing multiple languages in same site Weak URL for users scanning search results Sean Carlos 19 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  20. 20. Thank You! Sean Carlos Web Marketing Training & Consulting sean [symbol here] antezeta.com www.antezeta.com/blog Tel: +1 617 765 0250 (US) +39 02 69 000 333 (Europe) Skype: sean-carlos Twitter: seancarlos Sean Carlos 20 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  21. 21. US only Site? You're not Immune.... ● If you – choose a cute domain extension from a small country – host your site on servers outside the USA Search engines may not be sure who you're trying to target bit.ly Libya? Mitigate w/ incoming link selection Sean Carlos 21 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com
  22. 22.     Domain & URL Strategies for Multilingual & Multinational Sites SMX West Sean Carlos 3 March 2010 Sean Carlos 1 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  23. 23.     We're here Sean Carlos 2 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com Setting the stage: we're currently Santa Clara centric.  
  24. 24.     Many of us are likely from here Sean Carlos 3 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com A majority of attendees are probably from a nearby radius  
  25. 25.     Our clients are probably here Sean Carlos 4 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com Most businesses are probably targeting a national audience  
  26. 26.     The English speaking world as seen by Bing & Google Sean Carlos 5 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com Yet even if we just consider English speaking countries, the view seen by Google, Bing & Co. is more complicated. We are potentially competing with similar websites from Canada, England, Australia, South Africa. For those in the audience focusing solely on a domestic audience in English, you'll see how these issues can impact you too.  
  27. 27.     Organizing Multilingual & Multinational Website Content Two Dimensions: Language & Geography 1. The Five Options 2. Considerations driving a domain / URL strategy Sean Carlos 6 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  28. 28.     1. Top Level Domains (TLDs) www.mysite.com gTLD www.mysite.mx ccTLD www.mysite.it Sean Carlos 7 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com gTLD - generic top-level domain ccTLD - country-code top-level domains Master list of top level domains is managed by IANA (The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority). Contains 251 country codes + Catalonia (CAT) and Europe (EU) http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/  
  29. 29.     2. Subdomains en.mysite.com es.mysite.com it.mysite.com Sean Carlos 8 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  30. 30.     3. Directories (Folders) on the Web Server www.mysite.com/en www.mysite.com/es www.mysite.com/it Sean Carlos 9 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  31. 31.     4. URL Parameters Not recommended ● Set a page's language and/or personalize for a target market – Google often uses hl=<code> to set a page's language, e.g. ● http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/ answer.py?hl=en&answer=62399 – Bing country and language settings can be changed by appending setmkt=<code> to the bing URL, e.g. ● http://www.bing.com/?setmkt=de-CH Sean Carlos 10 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com URL parameters add complexity which may discourage users from clicking on a search result even if a page is indexed by search engines.  
  32. 32.     5. Chance Not recommended (A.K.A. no Organization) ● Site pages – are in various languages with no particular organization. – may contain multiple languages within the same page. Sean Carlos 11 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com Disorganization should be left in the dorm room!  
  33. 33.     Organizing Multilingual & Multinational Website Content Two Dimensions: Language & Geography 1. The Five Options 2. Considerations driving a domain / URL strategy Sean Carlos 12 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  34. 34.     Search Engines guess “Intended” Market ● Search engines may associate a website to a geographic market by looking at domain country codes (ccTLD) or server IP for generic domains (gTLD) Google allows geo  assignment of  gTLDs in Google  Webmaster Tools –  Google ONLY Sean Carlos 13 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com See also: Google Geo Targeting in Google Webmaster Tools http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answ Bing http://www.bing.com/community/blogs/webmaster/ar http://help.live.com/help.aspx?project=wl_webmasters http://www.bing.com/toolbox/support/how-can-i-incre  
  35. 35.     Influence of Incoming Links ● Search engines will most likely consider the “location” of sites providing incoming links when ranking a page for a particular market Sean Carlos 14 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  36. 36.     Users Scan Search Result URLs ● Multiple studies have noted users scan URLs when deciding which search result to select – Microsoft Research – Marketing Sherpa Search Marketing Guide 2008 ● Users probably prefer “their” country specific domain in search results Sean Carlos 15 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  37. 37.     Specific considerations for the recommended options Sean Carlos 16 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  38. 38.     Country Code Top Level Domains (www.mysite.it) Tailoring for content differences, e.g. $, € Strong signal target market Track separately in Webmaster Tools, WA If language spoken in multiple countries – link dilution (“duplicate content”) If multiple languages used in country – still have issues, e.g. Canada, Switzerland Registration hurdles – physical presence or other requirements Sean Carlos 17 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  39. 39.     Subdomains for each Market (it.mysite.com) No registration issues Host each subdomain in local market to set server IP geolocation signal (but will you?) Track separately in Webmaster Tools, WA Market needs may require multiple subdomains for same language Link dilution (but more relevant) Weaker URL signal for users scanning search results Sean Carlos www.antezeta.com/blog 18 sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  40. 40.     Directories for each Market (www.mysite.com/it) No registration issues All links going to same domain – but from discordant sources Need multiple directories for some lang.? Ambiguous geolocation targeting – server IP signal not helpful – Mixing multiple languages in same site Weak URL for users scanning search results Sean Carlos 19 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  41. 41.     Thank You! Sean Carlos Web Marketing Training & Consulting sean [symbol here] antezeta.com www.antezeta.com/blog Tel: +1 617 765 0250 (US) +39 02 69 000 333 (Europe) Skype: sean-carlos Twitter: seancarlos Sean Carlos 20 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  
  42. 42.     US only Site? You're not Immune.... ● If you – choose a cute domain extension from a small country – host your site on servers outside the USA Search engines may not be sure who you're trying to target bit.ly Libya? Mitigate w/ incoming link selection Sean Carlos 21 www.antezeta.com/blog sean [symbol here] antezeta.com  

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