Nacho introduces the panel and the session. I am looking forward to this. I expected more people here but I guess they are all interested in "link building."
Ian McAnerin McAnerin Networks is up first to talk about International Domain Issues.
Domain Issues - Subdomains: Subdirectories are domain.com/brasil/ Subdomain is brasil.domain.com Domain is domain.com.br
Rule of thumb: Choose based on IBL linking patterns and number of pages. The subdirectories have light IBL, small number of pages, Subdomain is moderate IBL, moderate number of pages, Domain has heavy IBL and large number of pages.
The further removed from the main domain, the less freely the internal link weight seems to flow. Subdirectory > Subdomain > Domain (how link juice flows). Subdomains and second domains are better if you have multiple locations, multiple CMS and/or multiple IP addresses. If geolocation or multiple languages are involved, I strongly recommend subdomains or full secondary domains.
Suggested Best Practices: Separate countries on separate domains (takes advantage of letting the engines know you have a a .mx site and should be in Google Mexico), separate languages on subdomains and separate topics in subdirectories. This is not the hard and fast rule.
Three types of domain redirection: (1) Permanent redirection = 301 redirect (2) Temporary redirection = 302 redirect (3) Alias / Parking = 200 OK
An alias isn't technically a redirect, but is commonly used as if it were one. Search engines usually try to treat these properly, webmasters often use them improperly.
|--------------------------------> Domain C
Alias / Parking 200 OK Domain A and Domain B are just different names for the canonical domain - aka the big kahuna (domain C) -- (personally, I see this all over the place). Because different names are involved there can be a period where the search engine thinks they are separate sites, and can treat them as such, splitting PR and possibly treating one as a duplicate site.
Most SEOs ask you to stay away from this Alias/Park method.
Permanent Redirect 301 Domain A and Domain B are no longer treated as sites, and are treated as if they were the Big Kahuna (domain C). This is usually the safest and best redirection method. No theoretical limit to the number of domains that can be redirected. All links are passed on, but geolocation aspects of the redirected domain is lost. This can be bad, if you want to rank well in a local search engine, such as Google Mexico. Keep that in mind.
Temporary Redirect 302 Domain C is treated as a temporary location, and the redirected domain is the Big Kahuna. This works fine unless there is more than once 302 redirect - you can't have more than one Big Kahuna (canonical issue). This causes a lot of problems. The default standard is a 302 redirect on servers, so that is a big issue for webmasters.
He then does a real time example asking an audience member for example URLs for sites with multiple domains.
International Issues - Geolocation Search Engines give a ranking boost to local sites relevant to the local search. I.e. Google.com.br gives a ranking boost to Brazil sites. Note: Google gives localized results for the USA if the search is on the .com version but also includes a recognized US location (miami pizza). Best method is by using a country code TOp Level Domain (.ca, .co.uk, .com.br). After that Google uses IP geolocation (server host location), Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com all use link analysis. Problem with geolocation is that many people do not host where the business is located, a Mexican site may be hosted in the US. The issue with link analysis is that when you get links, or higher a broker, you can get links from .ro (russian domains), it will think you are a Russian site.
Each individual page can only be localized to one location. If you have multiple ccTLD domains aliased to a site, this can cause issues based on followed link paths. If you have a gTLD (.com, .net, etc.) then the geolocation will be based on either IP or link analysis. Ian says do both.
(!) Use ccTLD (2) Hist in target country with target country IP (3) Get links (4) missed this
"But our site is more complicated than that..." Site has an existing .com and wishes to keep that branding and URL Host web site in geolocation and get links. Other solution, you can alias the ccTLD onto the .com, and have at least one link using that ccTLS to the site. An other solution, if we are only talking about 1 ccTLD, you can use a 302 redirect to redirect from teh ccTLD to the .com.
Use ip2location.com/free.asp for a tool.
Christian Van Der Henst from Miacosta Web (spelling?), it is the largest Webmaster community in Latin America (like WebmasterWorld).
Do I need a single domain name for my Latin America (20 domains) or a subdmain.
Subdomain Pros: - You only need to build one Spanish Web site - Easier to promote a single domain name - Avoid having duplicate content - Promotion for your main domain is easier
Subdomain Cons: - Spanish language differs from different Latin American countries - How do you add a new web site for a specific Latin American country.
Country Specific Domains Pros: - Brand protection - Users will identify their own country specific web site - Web sites can include slang and other customizations for each country.
Country Specific Domains Cons: - Some country specific domains are hard to register - Your brand can be registered by someone else - You may need multiple hosting companies - You're going to handle several web sites (lot of work).
How much do you pay for domain names these days? - $6 - $15 for an available domain names In Latin America it can cost $25 to $100 for an available domain. Sometimes you need a postal address in the country. And there is only one provider for country specific domains in Latam.
Some countries promoting their domain extensions. Examples: .es, Spain, not Latin America, but they are related by language. .ms Mexico, normally it is $35 per year per domain. But sometimes they have offers, they had an offer in the past for $5 per domain per year. .ar Argentina, these are free, you just need a postal address in Argentina.
Brand protection offered by marcaria.com and safenames.com.
If you want to go regional, you need to act now. Google got it all for most TLDs. But they did not act as quick for Gmail.TLD, et. Google.com.gt.
Strategy #1: Get a spanish Web site, get some quotes about domain names for branding protection. Even get a subdomain for now.
Strategy #2 Get a spanish web site and get regional domains and redirect. Protect your brand and promote domains in business cards and other materials.
Strategy #3 Get regional domains and several entry pages, make sure to have entry pages with relevant info of your company in every country Avoid using the same content.
Domains and special characters: - Country specific domains dont offer domains with accent marks. - You're promoting somebody else domain - Not available for all browsers - They are actually very weird names
Disclaimer: I type as fast as I can, there are grammar errors, typos and more issues with this. I do my best to be as accurate as possible. But due to the nature of "real time" coverage, there will be issues.