Domain Manage

French Subdomain for .co.uk Site

Discussion in 'New Domainers' started by jj1, Nov 24, 2009.

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  1. jj1

    jj1 Active Member

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    Am not quite sure if this is the right place to post this, but I have a French chateau site for an English person who's gone to France and set up a chateau largely for English guests. The site is an extablished .co.uk site, hosted in England, that's doing well in the serps for most local searches from England.

    The customer now wants to have a French version of the site to attract more French guests. The French site would be EXACTLY the same as the English site only in French (I would probably get the original translation from the Google translate tool and then give her the option of asking a French contact to correct grammar if she so chooses - cost will be an issue here). Some French customers would come via referrals fromthe local tourist office site, others from search engines.

    What is the best way of tackling this? Should I have a French subdomain on the site and if so is there a "best" format for the subdomain. For example should I add a subdomain to the Gascony Chateau Auch Gers Fleurance Vic-Fezensac Armagnac Chateau 32190 site:

    Someone suggested this to me but am not sure whether the fr.chateaudeplehaut does any good in telling Google that this is a French site??

    Or should I just say chateaudeplehaut.co.uk/fr/default.htm and chateaudeplehaut.co.uk/fr/region/region.htm etc

    Would appreciate any feedback as I want to get this right before jumping in.

    Also, is a French subdomain of a .co.uk site likely to do well - or reasonably well - in the French serps? I can't see the customer wanting to spend too much money on creating a brand new site, so would really hesitate before suggesting a new French site, but want to know my facts before speaking to her.

    I assume that I would not be hit for duplicate content within the site - each of the 10 English pages would have a duplicate French page (only the page would be in French not English)?
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. grantw United Kingdom

    grantw Well-Known Member

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    If you go with fr.chateaudeplehaut you will be able to specify the subdomain as an individual site in google webmaster tools and set the target location to France.

    Grant
     
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  4. grantw United Kingdom

    grantw Well-Known Member

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    Scratch that:

    No idea then mate :)

    Grant
     
  5. wb United Kingdom

    wb Well-Known Member

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    How about getting the .com and creating an en and fr subdomain and targetting as Grant suggested? Or keep the .co.uk as it is, buy the .fr domain and have a duplicated but translated version linked from the .co.uk :)
     
  6. jj1

    jj1 Active Member

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    Grantw:
    Many thanks for this - I had no idea this facility was available. Have just checked out webmaster tools and the example they give has www.example.com - would this still work even though the site is a .co.uk????

    Also, presumably - as this is a subdomain - we don't need to buy a new site? (You can tell I'm not well up on domains fromt he question).

    wb:
    If we bought the .com, wouldn't this then mean an upset in the serps as it would then be a new site? Or would a 301 redirect compeltely take care of this? (As stated, the .co.uk site is pretty well at the top of the serps for most English searches).
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  7. grantw United Kingdom

    grantw Well-Known Member

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    No sorry, please see my second post above :)

    Grant
     
  8. wb United Kingdom

    wb Well-Known Member

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    On Webmaster Tools you can specify a change of domain and it tells you what to do :) you would change this from the .co.uk to en.domain.com and target it to the UK - this should keep any SERPs however somebody please correct me if i'm wrong.

    Then you can set up the fr.domain.com and target it to France :)
     
  9. namealot United Kingdom

    namealot Well-Known Member

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    Register the .fr and host in france why waste your time doing anything else…
    French are unlikely to look at a co.uk domain or a .com.etc they have a localised view. Germany its all about .de…? England is all about co.uk...? France is all about .fr …? .fr hosted in France going to score higher than a co.uk etc hosted in England... It would also lower your seo score.. keywords, relavance etc having both hosted on same ip. If your trying for both then you need both... if they don't want to spend the money registering in france and hosting there (its peanuts ) then why waste your time find a client with money :)

    It may be top of searches for english but doubt the french will be using english to search...
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  10. FagEnd

    FagEnd Banned

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    Go with .eu and cover all bases.

    .eu ranks great in google EU countries for relevant stuff. Most people don't like .eu but who cares, google does ;)

    Just check out my sig site for bike hire. Page 1 in many European countries for "bike hire europe" etc etc and there is almost no site content yet. It's still being developed outsource.
     
  11. crabfoot United Kingdom

    crabfoot Active Member

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    The French are very "partisan" about some things - and I can imagine them getting very stroppy about buying on a co.uk.

    LOL I went to great trouble trying to sell things on French eBay once, and nobody would buy from me. I was actually dropshipping goods from a Taiwanese friend, and at very reasonable prices.

    French sellers were buying the goods from my friend off US eBay, then doubling their money on French eBay. We could not break into the market easily - the buyers would only buy from French sellers, and they would pay double to buy from one!

    You can register a .fr because the business is in France. If you want French customers, I would strongly advise you to do that. And the French language on the site must be impeccable, or they will bounce.

    You could put the whole thing on a .fr with English pages; I do not see it working on a co.uk with French pages, unless you are selling scarce commodities at very reasonable prices.

    When selling to the French, it helps if you litter the site with thistles and Scots flags - they like Scots, it is the English they hate. If I'm selling in France, I always carry a picture of me wearing a kilt - it breaks down barriers.

    Me, I'm not funny about these things, but like Mr Blackwood, I don't like Nigerian traffic wardens ...
     
  12. FagEnd

    FagEnd Banned

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    The auld alliance. The French have always like the finer things in life ;)
     
  13. getmein United Kingdom

    getmein Active Member Exclusive Member

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    I'd go with the new french domain, hosted in france, content in french and optimised for french search terms. Presumably you can adapt the existing design with the new french content - so that should keep the costs down. Having a .fr domain in french will also make it far easier to get french links to the site. Also agree that it's vital to have a decent translation - when I read craptastic content in english I rapidly lose faith in the people behind the business.

    I would imagine the costs of this strategy would rapidly be covered by the amount of extra business it would generate.
     
  14. jj1

    jj1 Active Member

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    many thanks to all for your help and replies.

    I shall put this new french domain forward to the customer as an option - presumably Google will treat this like a new site and it will have to go thru a "new website penalty" period the same as most websites do? Or is there some way of getting Google to transfer the trust of the chateaudeplehaut.co.uk to chateaudeplehaut.fr (apart from obviously a link)??? I assume a redirect cannot be used as I still want to keep the .co.uk site.

    Regarding, French translation, are there any GOOD but reaosnably priced French translaters out there?
     
  15. getmein United Kingdom

    getmein Active Member Exclusive Member

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    I wouldn't be worrying about short term rankings - presumably your client is going to be in business for more than 6 months. If you can get some decent links I'd say it's not going to be a problem. If your client is trying to do everything on a shoestring, they'll have to do some of the link building work themselves.

    As far as translation is concerned - you could try a service like lingo 24 - but perhaps your client can find someone in france to do it.
     
  16. crabfoot United Kingdom

    crabfoot Active Member

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    Regarding the translation - there are little clues in the phrasing, suggesting that a lot of the original material was in French - perhaps the originals are still available.
     
  17. domainmonster_m

    domainmonster_m Member

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    Hi

    I think the chateaudeplehaut.eu and chateaudeplehaut.com domain names would work well in this case as they are both highly recognised by the French market. Both are available to register at Domain Registration - Domain Registration Search Services and you can forward tehm to your existing website with the option of viewing the site in French.

    The LAUNCH:cool: of the new .eu IDNs at 10.00 tomorrow morning means that you can preregister domains including local accents, so if chateau de plehaut is actually chateau de pléhaut, then you can now register it in its true French form which will attract more French viewers. dotEU IDN - Buy Domains in Internationalised Domain Format

    Good luck!
     
  18. FagEnd

    FagEnd Banned

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    Is that the sole registrar they are free to register?
    I smell spammy posts here :)
     
  19. crabfoot United Kingdom

    crabfoot Active Member

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    Yesm, that smells like a blatant advert.

    OTOH the French do like things "spelled correctly", and resent the fact that accents can't be put in domain names.

    You can get é on any keyboard by holding Alt-Gr and pressing e, but other than the acute accent you are a bit stuffed if you don't have a stupid AZERTY French keyboard (if you have to do EuroBiz a Swiss one is best).

    Whatever, until it gets OBVIOUS it is not going to work for type in traffic, and Google will have to wake up to it.

    My opinion still holds - stick with .fr if you want to sell French things to Frenchman.

    I still remember going on a holiday up the Rhine with a "wise old courier" - she ignored the tour company instructions, and took us to "Adolf's Weinbau" - which was pleasant.
    Adolf took our party into the cellar, then apologised for the surroundings. "The main room is full of French people - they come here, insult the wine, buy a little, and expect to pay with French money in Germany" he said. "Yes, I take the money ... I don't have to like them".
     
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