Empty or Thin Pages Can be Served if Different Content is Shown Depending on Location
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
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
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
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.
Using International IP Redirects Will Prevent Google From Finding Other Versions of A Site
If you are redirecting based on international IP addresses, Google is likely to only see the redirect to the English version and would drop all of the other versions.
Consider Number of Language Variations When Deciding on Approach to Internationalization
Consider the number of language variations when deciding how to configure international versions of a website. If there are many versions you may want to let the user decide which version they want to view, but if there are only a few versions you may be able to guess for them.
Make Pages Accessible to Googlebot For Each Language Version of a Page
For sites with redirects based on the user’s IP or browser language, John recommends having landing pages available for each individual language, including hreflang on each with an x-default to the main page.
Translating Core Pages Can Help Google Understand a Language Change
If a website wants to target a particular language to appear for in search, translating core pages that are internally linked the most, like the homepage, can help Google to understand the language change. However, this doesn’t guarantee improved rankings for the target language.
Googlebot Does Crawl From a Handful of Regional IPs
Googlebot does crawl from a small number of regional IPs, particularly in countries where they know it is hard to crawl from the US.