International SEO is not the same as multilingual SEO.
Factors for International SEO:
Cctlds – .co.uk, .de or .fr
google automatically knows which country you are targeting – every domain name has its own authority.
Targets local people/market
lots of resources to run multiple sites
Costly – new seo campaigns cctlds
cheaper than buying
treated like different domains
Still require a lot of links pointing to it
cheaper than buying and managing various cctlds
Inherits the authority and value of the root domain
lower SERP ctr seen in some countries such as .fr or .de
Making subfolders work
You can tell google that a subfolder is targeting a specific country GWT
Simply add a subfolder as a new site
Then set up geographic target for the site
Google will look at it as a different website
Web hosting –
Hosting is becoming less important SEO factor these days
IP address records show where the ISP is located not where your company is located.
Hosting location is only a suggestion to the search engines, a cctlds will override this suggestion.
English speaking countries will require different content (US, UK or CANADA), same for Spanish speaking countries and so on.
Find good writers on oDesk for reasonable rates*
Why is GWT method riskier?
There is still a fault in GWT- for example is you set up a UK site as a subfolder in GWT for example freshegg.com/uk/ and then set up freshegg.com for US market then GWT gets confused and will still think the root domain is still UK market.
How do you fix? – email someone from Google.
Are there any benefits of getting links from the same company for example .es site getting links from Spain?
The natural looking backlink profiles and anchor texts ratio is now crucial and also local links may help site look more natural.
Important note: Main domain should be targeted for your main market.