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SEO for a product known by different names in different English-speaking countries?
April 23, 2009 6:18 PM   Subscribe

SEO for a product known by different names in different English-speaking countries?

[Please assume by the way what I'm talking about white-hat SEO, not tricks, and that I know that semantic HTML, good, updated content and inbound links are key SEO factors.]

How would you deal with a situation where you're trying to optimise your website for a search term, but different English-speaking countries use different words for the same thing?

Say your company makes "scrunchies", those hairband things. Now, "scrunchie" is a made-up word. There's no official term for them.

Now imagine you're trying to sell internationally, and you find that in Canada, they're called "scroonchers", in the UK they're called "kranchies" and in Australia they're called "chuzzwazzas".

You want your product's name up there in the title, the URL, the H1 and so on, but there are four different names for your product.

Would you create separate sites for those different countries?

Would you use text like "scrunchies (aka scroonchers, etc)" into your pages?

Would you trust that Google is smart enough that all four of those terms are linked up in their magical taxonomy database and a search for one will return results for the others?
posted by AmbroseChapel to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
>> Would you create separate sites for those different countries?

No, I'd create four separate pages on the site, and optimize each for the term in question. The purpose of SEO is to drive traffic to a PAGE within the site. So you optimize pages, not sites. Many SEO "experts" don't understand this.
posted by Brzht at 6:29 PM on April 23, 2009


And no, Google is not smart enough (yet) to link terms. It's very literal.
posted by Brzht at 6:30 PM on April 23, 2009


You might want to create separate sites that'll appear in Google's regional results (e.g. selecting 'pages from the UK' from google.co.uk), which means using a local domain and/or local hosting. They could be small and direct users to the main site for detailed information, but would ensure you at least show up for such searches and could be tailored to suit each market in terms of content and styling.

Precisely how you structure your site and optimise for search engines will depend upon how the content and audience varies. For example, as well as the product name you may need to vary the overall wording, prices, contact details, etc., or it might just be a matter of having a single page targeting each country.
posted by malevolent at 11:59 PM on April 23, 2009


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