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What Is The Hreflang-equivelant Way Of Targeting Different Regions?

- 1 answer

One of my projects is going through a global expansion and we have multiple top-level domains with local TLDs for the different countries (I've seen this great answer and I think I'm well aware of the do's and don'ts).

The content is largely the same from one country to the next, except for a few customer products that are/aren't available from country to country and of course, the currency, prices, delivery information, local store addresses, etc, etc..

We can't use canonicals because each domain needs to rank within its own country. But critically, we cannot use hreflang links because all websites are in the same language (in English).

ie.: We have something like this...

  1. https://www.website.co.uk/ for customers in the uk, in english
  2. https://www.website.com.br/ for customers in brazil in english
  3. https://www.website.ca/ for customers in canada, in english
  4. https://www.website.fr/ for customers in france, in english

In future we'll publish language variations as a directory

  1. https://www.website.fr/en/ for customers in france, in english
  2. https://www.website.fr/fr/ for customers in france, in french

Is there anything like hreflang that we can use to give a strong signal that each domain is specifically tailored to users in that region even though they are in the same language?

Thanks in advance!

ps.: this answer from Google is very useful but our situation just doesn't fit their definition of "country-based language variations".

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Answer

You don't need a way that's equivalent to hreflang -- you need hreflang :)

Hreflang was designed to signal not just the correlation between pages that have different languages but also scenarios like yours where you have the same language but targeting different geos.

So go ahead and use en-GB, en-BR, en-CA and even en-FR. However, since your content is all going to be in English, you will have to be extra careful to localize the content. Google has been known to disregard weaker sites if they encounter duplicate content, even if it's Hreflang'ed.

To ensure your sites don't get ignored as duplicates, make sure there is country-specific information on every page. The currency and shipping content is an obvious way to differentiate all the pages so make sure that content is highlighted on the pages.

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source: stackoverflow.com
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