Language

An important element of international SEO is about ensuring websites are successfully targeting the intended language and providing a positive user experience while also ensuring search engines are able to find and index the relevant content. Our Hangout Notes cover insights from Google around language targeting, as well as best practice recommendations.

Language is evaluated on a per-page basis for SEO

January 10, 2022 Source

Does an entire website need to be translated to rank well in an alternate language? John responded to a question about whether it would be ok to only translate some pages in a website rather than the entire site. He answered that language is looked at on a per-page basis, rather than evaluating whole parts of a website, so this approach would be fine. He recommended making sure that internal linking is in place to these translated pages so that they can be found.


Google Tries to Detect User’s Language Preferences if Using Default Version of Chrome

January 7, 2020 Source

Google is aware that sometimes users download the default version of Chrome in English rather than their preferred language, and will try to detect this and show the correct language versions of pages to help with localization.


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.


Only One Version of Same Content On Different Country Sites will be Indexed & Appear in GSC Performance Reports

October 18, 2019 Source

If you have the same content on multiple language variation sites, Google will pick one to index but will use hreflang attributes to swap out versions of the page based on a user’s location. However, only the page that has been chosen to be indexed, and used as the canonical, will be displayed in the GSC performance report.


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.


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.


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.


Consider Number of Language Variations When Deciding on Approach to Internationalization

July 9, 2019 Source

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

July 9, 2019 Source

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.


Related Topics

Geotargeting Local Search Hreflang Internationalization