Internationalization

Internationalization is the process of creating multiple websites for users in different locations with content in their native language. It is important that these websites are optimized for their target audience and are indexed and served to the correct users in the correct language. Our Hangout Notes cover common questions around internationalization with advice and recommendations for optimizing international websites.

Hreflang Can be Implemented on Small Groups of Pages

October 29, 2019 Source

Hreflang doesn’t have to be implemented across an entire site. Sometimes it makes sense to implement hreflang on individual pages or sections where there are problems, or where it is especially important that the correct page is shown.


You Can Publish Different Language Variations of Content Without Using Subdomains or Subdirectories

October 18, 2019 Source

Content in different language variations should be on different URLs, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be put on subdirectories or subdomains. For example, this could be achieved with different parameters.


Google Have a List Of ccTLDs That They Treat As Generic TLDs

October 1, 2019 Source

To find out if your website is treated as a generic domain, John recommends accessing the international settings in GSC and seeing if you can set an international target.


Translated Content is Treated as a Completely New Piece of Content

October 1, 2019 Source

Content that has been translated by a translator is treated as unique content and not seen as spun content, this is because the words are different when translated from one language to another.


Hreflang Can be Implemented on Small Groups of Pages

September 3, 2019 Source

If you’re only seeing issues with how your homepage is being displayed, then you can add hreflang to that page. You don’t have to implement hreflang across large sections of the site.


Empty or Thin Pages Can be Served if Different Content is Shown Depending on Location

August 23, 2019 Source

Empty or thin pages may be displayed in Google’s index if different content is served based on the visitor’s location. E.g. if a full content page is served to US visitors but not to non-US visitors, the page might still be indexed as Googlebot crawls from the US but non-US visitors wouldn’t see the content.


Both ccTLDs and GSC Geo-targeting are Equivalent Methods of Country Targeting

August 9, 2019 Source

When determining a country to target, John recommends two main methods. The first is using a ccTLD, the other is using a generic TLD and specifyng the geo-targeting in GSC. Both of these methods are equivalent and used by Google to determine language targeting for websites.


GSC Data Across Duplicate Language Versions Will Only be Shown for Selected Canonical

July 23, 2019 Source

Even if you have hreflang set up correctly, Google can fold together similar language version pages and choose one to index, meaning that data in Google Search Console will only be shown for the one selected canonical page.


Adding New Language Versions Alongside Migration Can Delay Processing

July 23, 2019 Source

For Google to be able to process site migrations quickly, they need to be one-to-one moves. Adding new language versions alongside a migration means Google will need to process each of these versions separately which will take longer.


Related Topics

Geotargeting Language Local Search Hreflang