With the number of websites and/or domains increasing by the minute, it is really difficult to judge as to whether or not 2 or more domains are related to the other. Examples of such websites would be eBay.co.uk and eBay.com, these two sites are considered to be sister websites. Search engines such as Google will need queues to make sure that the results are apropos for what the users are actually searching for. Although Google has its way of checking website relationships, without these clues or ideas, the results may not be as relevant as one may expect: based on location, language and content.
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Search Spam answers this question: “Is there any way Google identifies “sister” websites?”
- Google needs your help to identify which sites are “sister” websites through the use of an attribute known as hreflang. What is a hreflang tag? This is the dressed up way of tagging or informing Google that your site is the “localized version” of a worldwide website. Take the eBay.co.uk and the eBay.com scenario as a clear example. Using this attribute would mean that you should link your site to at least 2 related, popular and relevant websites to avoid being identified as a “spammy” page. You can make use of the hreflang tag through the following:
- HTML links
- HTTP headers
- Use a site map. You can submit the local language edition through here. A site map is a list or a collection of pages or websites which are accessible to site users. Sitemap is also very important for SEO.
Connection of your website
- Connect to the global version of your page. It is important that the link directly leads to your site to help Google recognize that you and the initial website are indeed related.