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Honeybadger

Affiliate
affiliate
AffKit Ninja
Google recommends using the following code (localized versions) to tell Google the language (using ISO 639-1 format) of the page AND the same page in other languages, but I'm not yet sure how to integrate this into Wordpress CMS

Code:
<head>
 <title>Widgets, Inc</title>
  <link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-gb" href="http://en-gb.example.com/page.html" /> (British English)
  <link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-us" href="http://en-us.example.com/page.html" /> (United States English)
  <link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://en.example.com/page.html" /> (English?)
  <link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href="http://de.example.com/page.html" /> (German)
 <link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="http://www.example.com/" /> (?)
</head>

According to the Yoast Href Lang documentation there are 3 methods to integrate this code into your website
  1. "using link elements in the <head>"
  2. "using HTTP headers"
  3. "using an XML sitemap"
For me, option 3 is by far the most logical as the other two would only increase server load (bad for page loading speed - a key metric in Core Web Vitals, and therefore an important SEO consideration), although I'd need to contact a developer to see exactly how this would work, and ensure it can be automated, otherwise to be honest I'd just ignore Geo Targeting altogether, use the country/language folder format (URL option 1, below) and just hope Google understands it

Question --> How should you approach country and language URL's when sites go international?

This has been a question I've thought about alot because the type of fashion clothing products I promote are branded (major brands) and worn around the world, so I will at some point start promoting to not English speaking audiences

I am thinking about this in terms of a logical heirachical solution for the customer, rather than specifically for Google, as well as the simplest of technical resolutions

My preference is option 1, as it requires the least amount of technical work and keep all content on one domain (rather than a sub domain or separate domain) - which is easier for tracking and saves time

Option 1 - Country & Language Suffix

Example --> https:// domain.com/country/language
  • https:// domain.com/us/en/content (United States, English language content)
  • https:// domain.com/us/es/content (United States, Spanish language content)
  • https:// domain.com/ca/en/content (Canada, English language content)
  • https:// domain.com/ca/fr/content (Canada, French language content)
Option 2 - Sub Domain Country Prefix, Language Suffix
Example --> https:// domain.com/country/language
  • https:// domain.com/en/content (United States, English language content)
  • https:// domain.com/es/content (United States, Spanish language content)
  • https:// ca.domain.com/en/content (Canada, English language content)
  • https:// ca.domain.com/fr/content (Canada, French language content)
Option 3 - Country Domain, Language Suffix
Example --> https:// domain.country/language
  • https:// domain.com/en/content (United States, English language content)
  • https:// domain.com/es/content (United States, Spanish language content)
  • https:// domain.ca/en/content (Canada, English language content)
  • https:// domain.ca/fr/content (Canada, French language content)
Option 4 - Country Domain, Language Prefix
Example --> https:// country.domain.com/language
  • https:// en.domain.com/content (United States, English language content)
  • https:// es.domain.com/content (United States, Spanish language content)
  • https:// en.domain.ca/content (Canada, English language content)
  • https:// fr.domain.com/content (Canada, French language content)
What if the language is Canadian English rather than American English?

The simplest solution, if following the structure from option 1, is to add a sub-suffix to the language suffix
  • https:// domain.com/CA/EN-CA (Canada, Canadian English)
  • https:// domain.com/CA/EN-US (Canada, United States English)
 
Last edited:

Honeybadger

Affiliate
affiliate
AffKit Ninja
Google really doesn't seem confident about the future of Amp Stories (Also called Web Stories)
I tried creating an Amp Story in Wordpress and it was total chaos
Not an easy tool and the end result (using their template) was so bad that I didn't even publish it to find out whether it would rank or not
I predict Amp Stories will end up on the trash heap like other failed Google products
Well, you don't know unless you try!
 

azgold

Administrator
Administrator
affiliate
Dojo Master

I'd never even heard of some of those Google products! Guess they did lots of testing and found their fails.

We always stress focus here in the forum, especially for newbies. Just to back up the value of that, a quote from that article...
Before his death, Steve Jobs gave advice to Google CEO Larry Page, telling him to trim the fat out of the product line.
Focus is key in a startup, and it’s difficult to focus if you have 46 products. Focus is about saying no. It would be advantageous for both large companies and startups to follow Jobs’ advice. It would lead to a lot less failures.

Obviously, most affiliates won't be spread in that many directions but the premise still applies. Take it from Steve Jobs.
 

Honeybadger

Affiliate
affiliate
AffKit Ninja
@azgold
I can see from the viewing figures how many people watch Google Search Central's SEO podcasts
83,700 views from 14 videos means less than 6,000 people watch each video on average
This gives anyone who does watch these podcasts a competitive advantage in SEO

Google Search Central Podcast
Video views in 2021
  • April 9 - 6,500
  • April 1 - 5,900
  • March 26 - 3,700
  • March 19 - 4,400
  • March 12 - 4,800
  • March 5 - 4,600
  • February 26 - 5,600
  • February 19 - 9,600
  • February 12, 5,200
  • February 5 - 5,000
  • January 29 - 8,600
  • January 22 - 8,300
  • January 15 - 4,400
  • January 8 - 7,100
 

azgold

Administrator
Administrator
affiliate
Dojo Master
This gives anyone who does watch these podcasts a competitive advantage in SEO

You are so good at finding gems of insight and helpful information!

Thinking beyond or outside the box and spotting what others might miss can provide some great clues to improvement.
 

Honeybadger

Affiliate
affiliate
AffKit Ninja
I thought of a 5th option

Option 5 - Sub Domain Country Suffix & Language Suffix Combined
Example --> https:// domain.com/country-language
  • https:// domain.com/us-en/content (United States, English language content)
  • https:// domain.com/us-es/content (United States, Spanish language content)
  • https:// domain.com/ca-en/content (Canada, English language content)
  • https:// domain.com/ca-fr/content (Canada, French language content)
https:// domain.com/us-en/content would combine 2 folders into 1 folder of country AND language (us-en)

Until something better comes along I will use this format

Examples

/us-en/ - United States & English
/fr-fr/ - France & French
/br-es/ - Brasil & Spanish
 

azgold

Administrator
Administrator
affiliate
Dojo Master
(Canada, French language content)

Just in case you don't already know, there's a high population of Québecois in Quebec (French-speaking province) the French is different from the Paris kind. They have some cool swear words. :D

I've seen a lot of bigger companies use the country and language domain strategy. I'm sure it'll expand things for you.
 

Honeybadger

Affiliate
affiliate
AffKit Ninja
I couldn't find ISO 639-3 code for that language, or on the Quebec French Wikipedia page
Quebec Sign Language has ISO 639-3 code of "FCS" but it doesn't look right for URL purposes
Would probably use Statistics Canada internationally-approved alpha code of "QC"

https:// domain.com/ca-fr-qc/content (Canada/Quebec French language content)

This is a very interesting discussion as I want to start promoting offers on Amazon Associate sites in foreign languages
 

azgold

Administrator
Administrator
affiliate
Dojo Master
https:// domain.com/ca-fr

Typically, from the sites that I've visited when on a product hunt for myself, that's how the link looks if I switch from English to French (without the qc).

However, I don't believe that they target only Quebec, as New Brunswick also has a certain amount of French speakers and there are others (not nearly as many) throughout the country, as we're bi-lingual.
 
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