When it comes to international SEO, showing the correct content to the correct audience is one of the largest challenges especially for the home page.
Fancy technical implementations such as redirecting users based on their IP address and showing the correct local language according to user’s browser setting are few of the common examples that arise when it comes to international SEO.
Even though these two practices do a pretty good job for the majority of the site audience, at times they could create more headaches. For example;
IP detection is not 100% accurate and could redirect users to unintended location
Multi-lingual users (especially users in Europe) may not appreciate browser detection as international businesses are primarily communicated in English
Google bots are coming from US and by redirecting them to US content will prevent non-US content from getting indexed
Google Webmaster Central Blog recently mentioned about how to create the right homepage for the international users. The post provided three options
- Show everyone the same content.
- Let users choose.
- Serve content depending on users’ localization and language.
Even though the message is pretty neutral and not biased to one specific solution, the key message is to not take away the option to switch locations / languages from users.
A Real Good Example
Amazon.com is one of the best websites when it comes to executing international SEO.
I used a testing tool http://www.webpagetest.org to visit Amazon.com from Manchester, UK with Internet Explorer 9 to obtain this result.