For SEO purposes; what setup is better to have? Just using a sub-domain (e.g. au.domain.com) for specific countries or using country specific domain extension (e.g. domain.com.au)?
I was leaning towards using "domain.com.au" then redirecting this domain to my "au.domain.com" site…thoughts?
If you are targeting AU, it would be better to get the .com.au. Either way, you are creating a new site. The domain passes no authority to the sub domain, so there is no benefit to having a country subdomain over a country TLD.
Your situation is unique, though. Creating a service in one country that only people in other countries would use. Since this is an SEO question, I would say .com.au, but I might have a different opinion if this were a question on a complete marketing strategy including paid search. If you did go subdomain, try to only get links from sites in the country you are targeting for each subdomain.
Ok, thank you…
I’m in the process of creating different country specific domains; so for domains like *.de, *.fr, *.ru, etc. I will be duplicating my website content in the appropriate language for each country.
However; since Aus, UK, Canada are all English speaking countries instead of duplicating my content in English for all 3 of these countries, I was seeing if using *.com.au, *.co.uk, and *.ca to redirect to sub-domains would be the right way to handle this. Or should I still be duplicating this English content for these 3 domain extensions as well?
But regarding SEO, the main issue is to get websites in these countries to link to my website using the country specific domains; "domain.com.au", "domain.co.uk", etc? Or would I still get the same SEO benefit if websites in these countries linked to my main website "domain.com"?
From a SEO perspective, absolutely nothing to say that favors a .com.au domain to a .com / .net / .org.
There’s a possibility to set a geo targeting in google webmaster tools, even if you’re not using it, you can do so by meta tags. You’ll find enough examples of the most competitive terms in ALL countries where .com / .net / .org rank top spots. If no geo targeting is set in the meta / GWT, it’s a different story again.
For subdomains, it’s like a new domain. There’s no real benefit of having a subdomain.
Trying to get links only in the country you’re targeting is something I would not recommend and something that doesn’t look natural. Take a .co.uk site, think it’ll have links from .co.uk only? Not really…
Best solution: setup a domain.com and set the geo targeting by subfolders. domain.com/fr/ for France, domain.com/de/ for Germany so on. By doing so, you collect all the ‘authority’ on a single domain, shooting up your domain authority level while having perfectly separated structures plus filling your main domain with loads of content. Browse around and you’ll find dozens of examples of this kind of structures which naturally increases your indexed pages => content is still king. Not even speaking about interlinking advantages that you can benefit from.
Really, you wouldnt need them to link to your site. Your site would be the TLD for each country. I also wouldnt duplicate my content across all three English speaking countries.
I could probably spend hours analyzing your situation, so it is tough to really say in passing like this. Your service is located in the US, but it is worthless to be marketed in the USA, only to other countries. So, technically you would be better off creating a site in each country and catering the site to their needs. No redirecting to your .com site or linking to your.com site. Everything can be handled on the country specific domain. Crap, I might actually make your main .com a hub that simply lists services available and links TO the country specific sites, which is opposite of what you are thinking.
fjk87: Ok I like that method of using subfolders instead of sub-domains. Currently, in GWT I have it set to no geo targeting because I’m trying to target all different countries so I don’t want to set 1 specific country in GWT. Would I still be able to use multiple geo-meta tags to target different countries?
fishinseo: Yes, that’s an idea too; in making my *.com a hub that visitors can then select their specific country domain.
Another reason I like registering these country specific domains is to stop someone from registering my domain and offering similar services. If someone did do this; would I have any grounds to fight this and gain rights to the domain since they are using my "brand name"?
Hey guys. His situation is different. He isnt really doing international seo, he is doing international business.
Knowing the full scope of what he is doing will show you it isn’t as simple a solution as to use WMT for location targetting.
This is way beyond an SEO discussion.
Whether you’re going the route of creating different subdomains, sub folders, or sites for those English speaking countries – it’s important that the content is unique on each one. Do not duplicate them or you’ll have issues.
Catering content specifically to those countries will also enhance the user experience rather than "one size fits all" content.
Canonical tags could be a solution, but they could negate your efforts if you want these different sites ranking for different locations.
It’s tough giving recommendations without knowing your exact situation, so I’d make sure to take all advice offered here with a grain of salt.
Actually Google’s Webmaster Guidelines are pretty clear on how you can make use of duplicate content for international domains targeting different audiences. Just follow these guidelines https://support.google.com/webmaster…r/182192?hl=en
Agree with cmdeal, actually this is quite easy to solve as described in the previous posts by others & me. This is no rocket science and site owners do this daily, just make a clear structure of what you need and set it up in an organized way and you shouldn’t face any problems.