Markets: Subfolders and Languages

Shopify Partner
116 6 37

Hi all,


We are currently using Markets with our primary domain, but as we move to target countries with CSS ads on Google, we will begin to add subfolders for these markets, starting with Germany.


We have the German language published and want German to be the default language for Germany, so we have a de-de subfolder set up for this purpose. We also want to offer English language as an option to German customers as an alternative, but ideally don't want to set up an en-de subfolder. Is it possible to use our primary domain for this, even though we have a subfolder for German, or does it have to be the same on a per market basis?


I am trying to minimise the number of subfolders we create as my understanding is that Google will likely deem a lot of the pages not worthy of being indexed and this creates a mix of primary domain/subfolder URLs on the search engine results.


Thanks in advance.

Replies 2 (2)

Shopify Partner
296 10 35

Hi @Sebastian_Young 



When it comes to implementing language variations on your website, there are several approaches you can take. While it is generally recommended to have separate subfolders or subdomains for different language versions, alternative methods allow you to use the primary domain for language variations. One such approach is using hreflang tags.

Hreflang tags are HTML tags that provide information to search engines about the language and regional targeting of your web pages. By implementing hreflang tags correctly, you can indicate to search engines which language versions of your website are available and help them display the appropriate version to users based on their language preferences and location.

Suppose you want to have the primary domain as the default for Germany (in German) and offer an alternative English version. In that case, you can use hreflang tags to indicate the language and regional targeting. You should include these tags in the head section of your web pages, specifying the language and country code for each version. Here's an example:

For the German version (default):

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="de-DE" href="" />

For the English version:


<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-DE" href="" />

The hreflang tag with the "de-DE" language and country code specifies the default German version of your website in the de-de subfolder. The hreflang tag with the "en-DE" language and country code specifies the English version, indicating that it's intended for German users.

By implementing these hreflang tags correctly, you can signal to search engines that the primary domain is the default for Germany while offering an alternative English version. This approach helps search engines understand your language targeting intentions and deliver the appropriate version to users based on their preferences.

Remember to monitor your website's performance, check for correct implementation, and use tools like Google Search Console to troubleshoot any issues related to language targeting.

Sampy Mishra | Customer Success Manager @ AdNabu

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Shopify Partner
116 6 37

Thanks for the reply! Is it technically possible to set it up like this with Markets, i.e. de-de subfolder for Germany with German language, and primary domain for Germany with English language?