Translating a Site: New Domain or the Same DomainSEO | Sunday July 3 2011
You are in the early stages of considering a translation of your site, perhaps you are considering a plugin like SEO Translate, perhaps you’ve put thought to doing it yourself. One of the most important questions you can ask as a blogger or business, is whether or not the translated content should exist on the same domain as your original language site OR hosted on a new domain unique to the new language.
Your decision depends on only two considerations
1. Are you trying to attract other language speakers in your country or are you trying to attract speakers in other countries?
If a United States based business looking to expand to Mexico, a .mx version of your site (with hosting based in Mexico!), in Spanish, makes good sense. Your placement of the site in country firmly establishes your relevance as such. Local domains with local hosting usually rank better.
2. If instead your goal is to expand based on the language alone, and not place your business or service in another country, stick with your original domain and use a sub-directory (i.e. domain.com/espanol/) to host the translated pages. Translated paegs are not considered duplicate content by the search engines and the links you will build to the various pages translated will contribute to your entire site’s ranking. Yes, that’s a down-side of setting up unique domains not mentioned previously; though being in country helps your rank relative to searches in country, you’re effectively creating new web sites – each with their own rank, authority, and equity.
What about a sub-domain?
Sub-domains such as espanol.domain.com offer a unique set of considerations. On one hand, sub-domains are treated like new domains in the eyes of the search engine. You’ve created a completely distinct site with its own rank and authority and might have a good reason to do that with your translated content. On the other hand you don’t derive the same benefit you would if you host that unique site within a country related to the language translated. You get the benefit of a unique site but the disadvantages outweigh that uniqueness. Bottom line, we don’t recommend it.
For this very reason, SEO Translate automatically translates your entire site into dozens of different languages through a sub-directory. Ideal for the blog or business that intends to remain focused on their country of origin but looking to reach a much broader audience through the various languages SEO Translate can make available, you need not look any further, as a WordPress site, than right here.