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For language support in a website's url, which oen can be better and cuter?

http://en.example.com

or

http://example.com/en/

Which one is better in SEO? Which one is better in regards to user experience?

Also I was thinking about redirecting users by ip range ... what about this?

Of course one of the languages is never seen by user, the default language I mean.

  • 3
    example.com/en flows off the fingers more naturally IMO. I could be giving biased results though as I am more than accustomed to typing in url addresses. – Josh Campbell Jan 13 '13 at 6:52
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    There isn't a lot of evidence either way as search engines keep their ranking algorithms secret. – JohnGB Jan 13 '13 at 13:41
  • What if my Russian friend finds something on hello.com/ru and wants to share this page with me? He copies the URL and I open a Russian page. Do you really need the language to be present in the URL? – Stephan Bijzitter Feb 19 '16 at 22:52
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I don't think there is a significant difference between these two url from the perspective of SEO. if you want to improve your SEO by telling search engine crawler the language you are using, using html meta tag is a better approach:

< meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en">

Furthermore, I don't think bothering users with "which language do you want to use?" is a good idea. you have never seen something like youtube/en/ or en.facebook.

of course, you can(should) let users configure their preferred language. However, you should get users' preferred language from Http-Header, which is decided by users' browser setting, and set the language as default when users access your site. (if you don't know what Http-Header is, discuss it with your programmer!) Therefore, users can browse your site with their preferred language without making unnecessary decision, which is annoying.

Recognizing users' preferred language with ip is an option, but it's not the best solution. A Chinese guy can browse your site with his own laptop when he is in the US. If you recognize his preferred language with Http-Header, he can still browse your site in Chinese even with ip in the US.

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