Ask Yoast: Avoiding duplicate content for multi-regional sites

If you’re a bit familiar with the ways of SEO, you’ll be aware that duplicate content is a problem that can happen to anyone and could seriously harm your rankings. But in some cases, it’s difficult to know where you stand. For example: if you translate your existing content into a different language, it isn’t considered duplicate content. But when you have a website in English, one for the UK and one for the US, this can cause issues, if you don’t tell Google what’s going on. So how do you deal with that? How do you avoid duplicate content for your multi-regional site? We’ll get into that in this Ask Yoast!

Jay Zijp-Koolmees emailed us this question:

I’m creating a site for the Netherlands and Belgium. If I create the same site on .nl and .be, do I get a duplicate content problem? And would geotargeting in Google Webmaster tools help?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Avoiding duplicate content with hreflang

“Well first of all: yes, you will have a duplicate content problem. Geotargeting in Google Search Console or formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools would absolutely help, but I would honestly also suggest that you use hreflang to tell Google which page to use what for.

Hreflang is not an easy thing, we have a very long article about hreflang. So look that up, look at what you need to do and implement that. Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.
(note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: Ask Yoast: When should you use hreflang »