Multiple domains & one installation - SEO penalty?

by Paul Redmond   Last Updated April 04, 2016 08:01 AM

I have 3 Wordpress instances of the same site in different languages hosted in different regions - Ireland, Russia and Spain. The 3 sites are code identical - just the content is different.

I'm planning to combine them a use a multilingual plugin instead and redirect the .ru and .es versions to the .ie site. I'm wondering:

  • Is this a good idea? Are any multilingual plugins good enough?
  • Is an search engine penalty likely?
  • Do search engine rankings rank much better if each site is hosted in the respective country? e.g. .ru is hosted in Russia and not Ireland. My main concern is a bit hit on the search rankings.
Tags : seo multilingual

Answers 1

Just on the subject of domain extensions, I worry that Russian and Spanish visitors may be confused by being required to use the .ie domain. Is there a particular reason to keep the .ie but not the .es or .ru domains?

Moving all three to a .com (or other generic TLD) may be more sensible. This serves a few benefits:

  • A generic TLD can make your site feel more international.
  • Instead of "preferring" one subset of visitors over the others, all visitors in current and future regions will be treated equally.
  • Moving Russian & Spanish visitors to an irrelevant regional TLD could cause not only confusion, but could potentially harm your rankings by serving content which doesn't match the region of the domain.
Andrew Lott
Andrew Lott
April 04, 2016 11:27 AM

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