At the 10,000 ft. view - the client (international retail company) is trying to decide which type of URL structure to use in their new platform:
Option 1: Root Domain ccTLD- www.brand.fr, www.brand,.ca, etc.
Option 2: Subdomains - fr.brand.com, ca.brand.com, au.brand.com
Option 3: Subfolders - www.brand.com/ca , www.brand.com/au
Consider these scenarios/questions and use to help decide which URL structure makes sense:
1) I'm an Aussie in Australia and I do a Google search on Hank Myer Aron, which is a huge seller in the U.S. and also included at the Australia locale site.
If we go with subfolders, am I likely to see the U.S. Aron page higher in my search results than the Australia Aron page? Or is the U.S. site not a factor in a search done outside the U.S.?
If we use subfolders AND geo-detection, does this bump the ranking of the locale page?
Do sites using ccTLDs always get ranked above those that don't? For example, if an Australian dealer selling Aron has URLs dealer.com.au/..., would their pages rank ahead of hankmyer.com/au/...?
If we went the ccTLD route, would the Aron page at hankmyer.com.au take precedence over the U.S. page? (Again, assuming U.S. site is relevant in this scenario.)
2) I'm a Frenchman in France searching on Hank Myer Aron.
If we use subfolders AND an alias URL that's translated to French (brand.com/fr/produits/sieges/sieges-aron), would we expect the page rank to be comparable to using the ccTLD and/or expect greater trust than just using subfolders without translated URLs?
3) Do translated URLs have any mitigating affect on duplicate page content?
4) Which URL structure is best for SEO?