Google's Zineb Ait Bahajji posted on the Google Webmaster Central blog, Google's official advice on how to handle home pages for sites with internationalized content.
In short, Google handles three methods well and gives you their advice on how to implement each one. Here are the three:
- Show Everyone The Same Content
- Let Users Pick and Choose The Content
- Serve Content Dynamically Depending On The Users' Localization & Language
In the first option, where you show everyone the same content, Google does recommend you overlay a notification based on the user's preferences if you have a better home page for them.
The second option is you send users to a specific page where they choose the content they want. Google says that if you use this method, make sure you use the x-default rel-alternate-hreflang annotation to communicate to Google what you are doing here with this page and the links on the page.
The last option is to automate it based on the users language or location, where you use a server-side 302 redirects or by dynamically serving the right HTML content. If going this route, Google says you should have rel-alternate-hreflang annotations configured, make sure the page is accessible for Googlebot's crawling and indexing and always allow users to switch local version or language: you can do that using a drop down menu for instance.
Learn more about this on the Google blog post.
Forum discussion at Google+.
Image credit to BigStockPhoto for global servers