Can you have duplicate content on regional domain names? For example, if you have a web site, pinkturtles.co.uk; pinkturtles.com.au; pinkturtles.com.ca etc, can these sites duplicate the content of the parent site which could be pinktutles.com?
The answer seems to be yes. They do localize the sites with local phone numbers, perhaps local pricing and local addresses, however, the content itself is an exact duplicate of the parent site.
One reason that you can get away with duplicate content in this situation is the regional factor. If you take the pinkturtles.co.uk site, if someone living here in Scotland entered a search phrase, and the site ranked highly for that region, then the search engines like Google will display that page in the results because it is the most appropriate for the region.
The duplicate filter only kicks in when two pages with the same content compete to be listed in the search results. The local site will generally take precedence over a non local site, particulary if the business has been listed on local search.
If you prefer folders, such as pinkturtles.com/uk/ or pinkturtles.com/au/, then the duplicate content filter will be an issue since they are all listed under the dot com.
For businesses that do trade internationally, you should be claiming your TLD business domain name simply as a reputation protection strategy. Once you that domain, you may as well capitalize on it by ranking well in that regions search engines. Duplicate content will not harm the site in this situation – perhaps one of the only times that duplicate content can be used to effect.
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