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Ask Yoast: Avoiding duplicate content for multi-regional sites

If you’re a bit familiar with the ways of SEO, you’ll know that duplicate content is a problem that can happen to anyone and that it can seriously harm your rankings. But how do you deal with duplicate content caused by multilingual or multiregional content? How do you avoid duplicate content when you have the same or similar content for multiple regions? We’ll get into that in this Ask Yoast!

If you do business in the UK and the US you probably have content that is quite alike, although you’re targeting a difference audience with that content. Google might not be aware of this, so you have to let them know what’s going on. How to do that?

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!”

Important note: 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!

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.

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