The session after a much needed coffee was advanced GEO targeting which is vitally important when creating a multinational strategy.
Geo targeting is vitally important when ensuring your website appears in the geographic “pages from” results in the search engines. 15% to 40% of searchers use this setting which is largely based on keyword usage. Google is getting far better at filtering the web and identifying where you are.
Searching for “Billigflug” in the UK and DE engines show that the same websites appear but the order is very different. The results are more different when comparing the US to Germany in terms of URL length but otherwise largely similar. Searching for Lufthansa on google.co.uk you’ll get all English pages whereas in google.de will be German even if the same IP and computer is used.
English French, German Spanish and Arabic are used in many countries and therefore your content strategy needs to be optimised for languages in countries. Failing to do so will cause a huge amount of duplicate content and will penalise you in most countries.
Andy’s recommendation is to use local domains if you have a .com geo-target within WMC either on a subfolder or subdomain basis. Local links are gold!
If you are in Russia you need to set it up in Yandex. China is tougher, you need local domains and hosting which is more advanced. If you’re going the .com route you need to optimise within Baidu.
Many countries are multilingual for example Switzerland where you need to optimise for French, German and Swiss.
There is a great deal of content on webmaster central about different approaches so use that.