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Site Translation: Subdomain vs. Subpages ???

casino1784 asked 1 year ago
Hi!

I searched long time to come to a decission, but I am still unsure…

I have a domain with ONLY ONE large 6000 words “SALESLETTER”, ALL content on the INDEX.HTM page; the rest of the site are only the “disclaimer” and “about” pages.

NOW I have let some guys TRANSLATE this single long Salesletter into 6-10 different languages. So I got 6-10 different SALESLETTER pages in different languages.

So far I am planning to use SUBPAGES (indexfr.htm, indexsp.htm, indexnl.htm, …) to get the best SEO results. But am not really sure: This “Roulette System”-Niche is also in Spanish and French language quite competitive, so I fear I cannot get the translated sites to rank well because of the competition of the other root domains (for the spanish/french/… keywords).

Other option would be to use subdomains (fr.mydomain.com, sp.mydomain.com, …), but then I get up to 10 subdomains or even more in the future which might look spammy and there is no PR earned from the established root domain.

3rd option (but probably worst) would be FOLDERS like mydomain.com/french/index.htm, mydomain.com/spanish/index.htm,…)

So what is the best option in your opinon for my special “one salesletter” case ??
Anyone how had the same issues?

Thanks Matt :hattip:

6 Answers
splinterfree answered 1 year ago
don’t use subdomains as they dont pass over the original domain’s weight. use either subfolders /english/ /french/ or just different pages. if you only have 3 pages, you might as well just use different pages. imho, won’t make much of a difference.

elgoog answered 1 year ago
no subdomains
folders have a slight disadvantage against pages in the root
so…i would prefer indexnl.html or nieuwsbrief.html

my 2 cents

GaryTheScubaGuy answered 1 year ago
Hi Casino1784,

This can be done any of the ways that you have stated and been told, but I have found the best way is both; sub domains and sub directories. The reason being the sub domains can be hosted in the target geographical region and will in all aspects be a stand-alone site in Google’s eyes; this means you can build links from your original index page and link juice and PR weight will flow immediately.

Sub domains are great for geographical targeting as well because you can register the sub domain in Google webmaster tools separately and set the geographical targeting to the appropriate region. These will always rank higher than language based sub directories.

I would then create my language-based sub directories (/fr/, /nl/, /be/ are fine) with a keyword/link in the native language on my front page. Google will pick up the sub domains and their respective languages automatically. It may not be immediately when they crawl and push it out in the index the first time, but it will be shortly after that. You will start to see rankings increase on multiple Google results. For instance I have a Spanish client ranking in Google .cl, .co.cr, .co.ve, .com.ar, .com.co and another 120+ Google engines. It all depend on end user preference settings when they search. They are ranking for both instances; es.website.com and website.com/es/.

Most foreign versions of Google search offers 3 options;
results from; the web, page in [language], pages from [accompanying geographic location]

As I mentioned, the sub domains hosted in the targeted geographical region, in the native language, and targeted in Google webmaster tools is first on my list. Building sub directories, proper link structure are next. Then I would create a new xml sitemap with the pages near the top and manually resubmit it. These sub directories will rank on Google.com if someone queries a language based search which is why I always do everything I have mentioned above.

Lastly, when your subdomains start ranking well and you get traffic and page rank (and a few links), you can feed this page rank and sculpt it through to any weak domains.

Its all in the little details.

Good Luck, Gary

brean78 answered 1 year ago
Great post Gary, very useful.

elgoog answered 1 year ago
They are ranking for both instances; es.website.com and website.com/es/.

??????

Duplicate content???????

GaryTheScubaGuy answered 1 year ago
Yes they are. I did Jet2 two years ago and had the same results. Both in the top 10 for their ‘Hollywood’ terms.

Duplicate content is an issue in English, but if your template isn’t identical or your content is over 40% different (put a dual rss feed on it for the content), its not an issue.

To be fair, I have several sites ranking with duplicate content…I think its more about back links.

I was going to mention the dupe content issue but decided not to muck-up the point of the post. It can be an issue with English sites but as of today I haven’t seen it as an issue, and I have at least 5 instances where it could be in 4 languages. These sites are where my conclusions are drawn from.

Cheers, Gary