Geo-selection and internal linking

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Geo-Selection And Internal Linking

International or global web sites all need to find ways of enabling users to move from one country to another - or to choose a different language. Many different methods have been experimented with. Here's a few samples:

  1. Web site pages have an international link which goes to a page (sometimes the home page) which lists the organisation's various sites.
  2. An array of flags across the top of the site can be clicked to move to the relevant country (webcertain.com uses this particular method - though we're also illustrating our international positioning).
  3. A drop down menu can be selected by country or language or both.
  4. An on page link generates either a pop-up or a modular window with a list of options.
  5. A Google Translate facility is provided to generate the page in a different language.

None of these methods is perfect - let's have a deeper look. What does this geo-selector need to do?

  1. The user needs to be able to find it easily on the page.
  2. The user needs to be able to understand it (it needs to be in his/her language).
  3. It must not interfere with the crawlability of the site.
  4. Ideally, it shouldn't create a huge long list of links on every single page.
  5. It must pass good links between the different country sites in the network.
  6. It should link equivalent page to equivalent page on the other sites in the network (where possible).

So what's the ideal solution?

Accepting that few organisations can actually achieve the ideal - or have the resources to implement it - here's how the idea solution would work:

  1. The first point is that the site actually needs TWO systems - one to link country home page to country home page - and one to link equivalent pages in different languages.
  2. For country to country linking, each page of the site has an international motif - and the word international - which links to a country-selector on a separate URL.
  3. The country selection page should ideally site on a different domain - probably a domain that exists solely for the purpose of providing a selection service to users.
  4. That separate country selection site should provide a language choice for the site itself for the benefit of users.
  5. Each page that has an equivalent page in other countries or languages - should have it's own selection tool via a small javascript navigation system.

The purpose of all of the above is more effective use and linking of site to site and page to page.

Back to the International SEO activities checklist »

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