Episode 2: Domain Structures

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In this episode of the International Web Effectiveness Podcast, Bill Scully and Bill Hunt explore the intricacies of multi-regional domain structures in international SEO, sparked by a comprehensive research report on keyword rankings.

They discuss the implications of Google’s AI-powered expansion of Google Translate, the benefits and challenges of using country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) versus subdirectories, and the crucial role of HREFLang tags in managing duplicate content across different markets.


Key Takeaways

  • Google Translate Update: Google announced adding 110 new languages to Google Translate, which could benefit localizers and AI translation tools. However, it’s unlikely to impact Hreflang implementation significantly.
  • Domain Structure Research: A study by GA agency and SC Ranking analyzed 20,000 keywords across 15 markets and found that 56% of websites use ccTLDs (country code top-level domains), 20% use folders, and 24% use subdirectories.
  • Domain Structure Considerations: The choice of domain structure should be based on several factors, including:
    • Resources: ccTLDs require more resources to build, maintain, and optimize than other options.
    • Brand Identity: Consider how the domain structure aligns with your brand identity in different markets.
    • Infrastructure: Ensure your infrastructure supports the chosen domain structure.
    • Duplicate Content: HREFLang can be used to address duplicate content concerns when using the same product page for different languages.
  • Best Practices:
    • Choose a domain structure that aligns with your infrastructure and resources.
    • Implement Hreflang correctly to avoid duplicate content issues.
    • Be consistent with your chosen domain structure.

Additional Notes:

  • The episode emphasizes the importance of considering infrastructure and resources when choosing a domain structure.
  • It highlights the need to implement HREFLang correctly to avoid duplicate content issues.
  • The episode provides valuable insights for businesses operating in multiple markets and using different languages.