Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Multi-Regional URL Structures in SEO – the Pros and Cons


When I was at SMX West 2010 in Santa Clara a couple of weeks ago, I attended a session called Technical SEO. One of the speakers was Maile Ohye (one of the best Google speakers in my opinion)  who showed a very cool comparison of the various URL structures that can be used for multi-regional sites. Maile also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using a country code top level domain (ccTLD = .ca,, etc.) or a global top level domain (gTLD = .com, .net, .org, etc.) for multi-region websites.

Anyway, Maile mentioned the URL structure comparison chart from her presentation would be available online soon and here it is reposted in along with other great information by John Mueller. This should be very handy as a reminder for anyone planning their multi-region web marketing. Note that I quickly whipped up a slightly easier to read & print PDF version of the table shown in the article.

A table outlining the pros and cons of certain website URL structures for geotargeting - created by John Mueller at Google

This image links to a better formatted printable version in PDF format

If you want more tips from SMX West I covered many with my co-host John Carcutt on  my recap of SMX West on SEO 101 at WebmasterRadio.FM, March 15th, 2010.

5 Responses to “Multi-Regional URL Structures in SEO – the Pros and Cons”

  1. Derek Organ

    From a SEO point of view, which one would you go for if you were targeting say 3 english speaking countries.. e.g. uk, usa and canada?

    I understand the technical difficulties but are there any SEO pros and cons to each?

  2. LN37A330

    nice blog here, i just signed up for your rss feed and will be following you

  3. Nraju

    Dear All,

    Thankyou for the valuable information!!

    If we create domains (ccTLDs) like “”, “ using the existing domain name “” and geotarget the two domains (i.e.,, to respective country locations “USA” and “Australia”.

    If we don’t geotarget the main domain “” to any country (which will be global one having good PR) and use the same content of “” in the USA and Australian domains, then will it be considered as duplicate content issue (as same language content will be used in all these domains).

    Looking forward for your suggestions.


  4. Nraju

    Dear All,

    Subj: Multi-regional websites

    If it is better to place the different content(not exactly same one) in the domains of USA, Australia (ccTLDs like, which will have same english content.

    Will it be sufficient if we use one BLOG for all the domains to write articles/blogs as per SEO or do we need to create blog for each domain?


  5. Ross Dunn

    Hi Nraju, that is an excellent question! I will be bringing it up with my co-host on the next episode of SEO 101 on October 25th (SEO 101 is a live Internet radio show). I have not run into this issue but my instinct is, yes, the global site would be treated as duplicate content but I think this warrants some input from my co-host John Carcutt.

    To listen to the show, go to at 2pm PST or 5pm EST on the 25th. OR, you can download it later as a podcast at iTunes. Here is a direct link to iTunes:

    Thanks for the great question!

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