International SEO Advice Imparted By Google
Google is not always keen to give direct search optimisation tips to webmasters, tending towards the vague or holistic approach, which may not be that helpful unless you are willing to read between the lines.
However, at the end of last week it published a post to the Webmaster Central Blog, in which it outlined six key tips which are intended to help those looking to optimise a site, so that it ranks highly in international search engines.
A BrightEdge report published earlier this year revealed that almost two thirds of online marketing specialists are of the opinion that international SEO will become significantly more important over the course of 2013 than it was in 2012.
This rise in profile for achieving a good position on international SERPs is therefore something that should concern a far greater number of site owners, making Google’s tips most welcome.
One of the main points that Google makes when outlining how international SEO works, is that site owners should use one style sheet for all pages, regardless of the language which is being used. Instead, the differentiators should come in the markup, through the use of @lang and @dir on the level of HTML.
It also said that webmasters should avoid attempting to create their own approach to setting international differentiates through things like special classes, since this might not be particularly effective when it comes to SEO.
Doubling up style sheets is discouraged and Google recommends the use of CSS over XML, because the latter does not have its own special internationalisation markup available to harness.
Another tip points out that it is necessary to make content mirrored when the left or right alignment has to change, depending on the language and country from which it is being viewed. At the moment this is not an entirely straightforward process, although it is something that webmasters are going to want to investigate.
The final tip provided in the blog points out that webmasters will need to pay attention to the small details when optimising a website for international access, which is arguably true of any kind of SEO task, whether targeting domestic or foreign audiences.
Courting a wide market is something that business sites will need to attempt if they want to achieve growth over the coming years.
The breadth of this market is dependent on the type of business in question, but whether you are looking to appeal to customers from a different country or on a different continent, there are certainly useful SEO techniques that can be deployed.
Those with an eye on international domination will probably want to pump resources into making a site that is flexible enough to work well in multiple languages and across various global regions.
Google claims that it is not enough to simply localise content so that it is legible, but that it is rather necessary to work on the underpinnings of pages, to ensure that they are able to achieve a high search rank.