Friday , February 22 2019

International SEO (Multi region/Multilingual SEO)

International SEO

International SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that search engines can easily identify which countries you want to target and which languages you use for business.

What is that?

  1. Multi language (language) – A multilingual website is any website that offers content in more than one language. Examples of multilingual websites might include a Canadian business with an English and a French version of its site, or a blog on Latin American soccer available in both Spanish and Portuguese.
  2. Multi Region (Region – Country, State) – A multi-regional website is one that explicitly targets users in different countries. Some sites are both multi-regional and multilingual (for example, a site might have different versions for the USA and for Canada, and both French and English versions of the Canadian content).

Expanding a website to cover multiple countries and/ or languages can be challenging. Because you have multiple versions of your site, any issues will be multiplied, so make sure you test your original site as thoroughly as possible and make sure you have the appropriate infrastructure to handle these sites. Following are some guidelines and best practices for creating multilingual and/or multi-regional sites.

Why we need it?

  • To get more traffic
  • To increase revenue
  • Generate leads
  • To improve user experience

Is it a good idea?

  • Infrastructure – Need physical presence on all countries that we are targeting
  • Staffing – Need staff to maintain customers and queries in different languages.
  • Online abilities – online ability stand the ability to handle web content in multiple languages, you need a content writer for specific language to write accurate good content without grammatical mistakes

Getting started

  • Content visibility – Make sure that all version of page has content, because if user land on country specific page and he found nothing will make bad experience
  • Different content for each page in different language – content should be unique on all version of site to escape with duplicate content penalty
  • Server location – Server location plays important role in geo targeting because every server has unique IP with hosting location. For the geo targeting we need to specify native server for all site version. For example, the USA variant site needs US server and Indian server for Indian site
  • Search console Geo tagging – geo setting for all websites in search engine console

URL Structure

  • Country specific domain – In this method we use ccTLD domains to target different region

Example: example. au for Australia, example. ca for Canada, example. in for India

  • Sub domain – In this method we don’t have to buy ccTLD domains, we can create subdomain and target them for multiple regions

Example: us .example. com for USA, au .example. com for Australia

  • Sub directories – In this method we don’t have to buy and create subdomains to target specific countries, we just create directories for each variant of website

Example: example. com/us for USA, example. com/in for India


Every URL structure has their own pros and cons, we can not say which is the best method to target your audience, it’s depends on market strategy and type of business.

 Here are some pros and cons for above said URL structures


(e.g., example. de, example. fr)

Pros (+)

  • clear geo targeting
  • server location is irrelevant
  • easy separation of sites

Cons (-)

  • expensive
  • potential availability issues
  • more infrastructure

Subdomains With gTLDs

(e.g., de .site. com, fr .site. com, etc.)

Pros (+)

  • easy to set up
  • can use Webmaster Tools geotargeting
  • easy separation of sites

Cons (-)

  • users might not recognize geotargeting from the URL alone (is “de” the language or the country?)

Subdirectories With gTLDs

(e.g., site .com/de/, site. com/fr/, etc.)

Pros (+)

  • easy to set up
  • can use Webmaster Tools geotargeting
  • low maintenance (same host)

Cons (-)

  • users might not recognize geotargeting from the URL alone
  • single server location
  • separation of sites is more difficult/less clear

The X-Default Hreflang Attribute Value

So, what happens when someone visits your site from a country that you don’t have a landing page for? Perhaps you’d want them to land on a generic home page, or a page where they can select their country or language.

Thanks to a new bit of markup from Google called “x-default,” you can now specify a default page for users outside your target regions. When specifying your region-specific landing pages with hreflang, you would use the value “x-default” to indicate which page is the default in situations where you don’t have a region-specific landing page. Thus, you might have a cluster of HTML link tags that look like this:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http:// example. com/en-gb” hreflang=”en-gb” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http:// example. com/en-us” hreflang=”en-us” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http:// example. com/en-au” hreflang=”en-au” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http:// example. com/” hreflang=”x-default” />


Above, http:// example. com would be the default page for users outside of Great Britain, the United States or Australia.


Do you actually need that?

As per my research many users want to target English region countries, which is USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia. In these all countries English is a primary language so that we can go with a .com domain without country setting in google search console. And We don’t have to follow the above given methods of international SEO.

How it will work?

  1. Search console country selection – You have to remove country targeting in the google search engine console (webmaster tool)
  2. Citation Submission – Citation sites are those sites where all the local businesses are listed. People list their own business for leads and query

For Example: Justdial, yellow pages,

  1. VPN/Proxy – Google detect each and every thing like external links, physical address, language, server IP, External link IP, IP of those sites which are giving us a backlink, link submission signature IP.

You can use VPN/Proxy for off page activities. Using VPN, you can change your system’s IP for selected region. Here is the list of VPN and Proxy sites.

This is what i know about international SEO, No buddy knows everything. Share your thoughts suggestions and share the article on social media platforms.

About akumar9577

I am Abhishek Kumar founder of and managing over 5+ other blogs, websites and services. I was born on March 3rd, 1994 in Faridabad, Haryana, India. I am a Pro Blogger from Faridabad and Professional SEO & Digital Marketing Consultant.

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