Are you building a multilingual website, but are you struggling your mind to make it SEO friendly? Sit comfortably on your chair, sofa or whatever you want and read the best ways to internationalize a website.
There are two main ways that Google helps webmasters to target their website:
You need a clean section of your website to target one country. Google should be able to recognize a clean section of your website for each country:
- subdirectory (yourdomain.com/it/),
- sub-domain (it.yourdomain.com)
- domain for a specific country (yourdomain.it).
If you want to target the whole domain and boost your rankings in a specific country when people are searching for something local, you have to use a country code top-level domain.
Remember that the new top-level domains like: .berlin, .swiss, etc. are treated by Google as generic top-level domains. For this reason you have to specify the geo-targeting because Google will not automatically geo-target them.
Hreflang is a tag that you put into the header of your pages and you tell Google essentially per page: which other pages are equivalent in other languages for this specific page.
When you use hreflang:
- you don’t need a special URL structure, you just need separate URLs;
- you can tell Google a default language, which means that anyone who is not searching in the language that you specified, will be shown the default version;
- there are some strict guidelines on the placement and the usage. This is one things where you have to watch out for the technical details (read Google guidelines);
- this doesn’t change any of the rankings for your site, because it’s only specific to show the right version of the URL.
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