Building international websites is from the SEO point of view quite a challenge. The first question I stumbled over – as a non SEO specialist – was: What domain name should I choose?
One single generic domain for the complete project, maybe with subdomains or subfolders for each language or region, or rather several country code domains? Or maybe even using a mix of some of these options?
As a “beginner” I want to start small: For my project I just want to set up 1 bilingual website, English and German. I want to address all English speaking and all German speaking people living all over the world. This may sound a little too simplified, but maybe it is possible for my branch.
My first researches on international websites brought me to some very interesting articles dedicated to these questions. For me a very good starting point was a german post from
with some more in depth links:
- JesperJ: Folders vs Subdomains vs ccTLD in International SEO – An Overview
- Google Webmaster Central Blog: Working with multi-regional websites
International Websites - Crucial Points for my Project
Reading those first few articles I found out that the buzzword here is ‘geotargeting’. Geotargeting obviously becomes very important when international websites deal with several versions of 1 language (let’s say English) for different countries (like USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand…).
Contrary if international websites (like my project) just have 1 language version (let’s say English) for english speaking people all over the world then geotargeting is rather counterproductive. The same for my German website version: 1 language version for all German speaking users.
‘Domain Authority’ is an other buzzword I identified. For international websites like my rather small project it seems to be crucial. Domain costs and costs for website maintenance are low and since I don’t target a specific country (yet) I think domain authority is an important point. Domain authority is expected to flow freely between subfolders of one and the same domain name but not necessarily between subdomains of the same domain name.
After reading a few more articles I tend to go for a gTLD with subfolders for each language. While building up domain authority the website can be expanded with other languages or with specific regions if I wish.
How did your decision making process look like? – You may have come to different conclusions based on your own projekt. Just drop a comment.