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Cultures in Search engine optimization

Posted on 2014-03-20
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Last Modified: 2014-06-23
Hi,

I have a worry concerning SEO on my site. It is accessed using URLs like this one: www.mysite.com/startpage. Now, the site is multilingual and the culture is set by the visitors browser. The visitor can also at any time change the culture. There is no indication of culture in the URL.

How can I instruct the search engine to look for all available cultures for the site?

Best regards
RTsol
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Question by:RTSol
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 39943305
This depends on how your web site is set up.

Search engines search for fixed links such as http://this_site.com/secondpage.html

If you use javascript to supply links they can't find those pages.  See http://www.htmlbasictutor.ca/search-engine-javascript.htm  So if culture links are accessed by javascript they won't be found.

If you have a sitemap page link on the website and the sitemap includes the links for other cultures then the culture links will be found.  In your example link above there is a sitemap page link.
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Author Comment

by:RTSol
ID: 39943336
Hi,

Well my problem is that the same URL can provide a bunch of cultures. Which is the default culture when for instance the Google crawler makes a visit?

There is no javascript involved in choosing the culture - it's all code behind (C#).

Do I have a problem?

Best regards RTsol
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LVL 48

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 39948014
>>  Which is the default culture when for instance the Google crawler makes a visit?

Google doesn't care and accepts all languages.  See http://rafistern.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/tuning-localization-for-googlebot/

Also see https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/Sg6P3C7bE-U

If you sitemap has links to all of the different cultures then there is no problem.
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Author Comment

by:RTSol
ID: 39948035
Hi,

Well, I have looked at your references and to me it seems like I need a separate URL for each language - or am I wrong here? As it is now the URL http://www.mysite.com/startpage can display many different languages depending on the users actions - there is no indication of language in the URL.

Best regards
Robert Tell
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Accepted Solution

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dbrunton earned 500 total points
ID: 39948102
>>  Well, I have looked at your references and to me it seems like I need a separate URL for each language - or am I wrong here?

You're right.

Also see https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en

>>  As it is now the URL http://www.mysite.com/startpage can display many different languages depending on the users actions - there is no indication of language in the URL.

It is taking the accept-language variable that the browser passes to it and then adjusting the language for the web page that it sends back to the browser.  Googlebot doesn't send that variable when it searches.
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