An SEO professional was concerned about international pages. They have a site that is being created where their international targets are already fully defined by the client.
For example: the client only wants pages in UK and US, and only defined as showing up for those countries, not any other English-speaking countries.
John explained that they should set expectations with the client now, because it’s impossible to define what pages will appear in country-specific search results.
If a page is in English, then it can show up for any user who is searching in English.
For the English US vs. the English UK version, this just means that you would swap out the URL for the correct version, depending on which country it is.
If you have different content for English US, and English UK, even if that’s something that’s as small as a contact address, or even currencies, then it makes sense to have these things on entirely separate URLs.
However, if it’s all the exact same content, even if it’s just a text article, then he recommends making it one English version, because you can’t limit those to certain countries anyway.
Creating one single version of this content will help you from an efficiency point of view.
And, when it comes to search, it’s much easier for Google to rank one page vs. someone taking the same content and publishing it on multiple pages.
His final recommendation was to create one English version of that content. And let the client know that you can’t just limit such pages to certain countries.
This happens at approximately the 00:44 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
SEO Professional 1 0:44
So my question is regarding hreflang tags. So I have to target two countries, let’s say UK and US, and both the pages are like duplicates of each other with exactly the same wordings because it’s in the English language. So should I create pages like, you know, en-US? Or en-UK? And then target because it will be localized for English with US or English with UK? Since both the pages are exactly the same? Or should I only create an en page? And then let it be for all the English users? But my geography are defined? It has to be only the UK and US. So how should I go with this?
How do you mean your geography is defined?
SEO Professional 1 1:34
Because the client only wants – the pages should be only available in these two countries, not for any other English-speaking countries. So it has been defined, but the pages are, again duplicate, so the content of only with [inaudible].
So I think, first of all, probably, you have to set expectations, because you can’t define that pages will not appear in the search results in other countries. So essentially, if they’re in English, they can appear to any user who’s searching in English. So that’s kind of the first thing there. And the English US and the English UK version, it basically just means it would swap out the URL for the appropriate version, depending on the country.
So if you have different content for English US and English UK, even if that’s something like a contact address, or currencies or things like that, then that makes sense to have it on separate URLs. If it’s all the same content, if it’s really just like a text article, then I will just make it one English version, because you can’t limit it to those countries anyway.
So you might as well make one version. And the advantage of having one version versus multiple English versions of the same thing is that you save yourself a lot of work, in that you just have to maintain one version.
And when it comes to search, it’s a lot easier for us to rank that one page versus you taking the same content and putting it on multiple pages. So my recommendation there would be, essentially make one English version of the content. And also let the client know that you can’t limit it to just those countries.