One language per page

July 28, 2010

Yesterday morning, a question arose on Google’s Webmaster Central blog that caught our attention, and we would like to pass on the tip to you.

A user had an interesting dilemma. He or she is running a blog that contains content in both English and another language on the same page. The question here is, “How is Google handling pages containing English text and its translation in another language?”

Interesting to say the least. The user goes on to clarify that the page in question has copy in two languages, not a site that has two pages with a different language on each.

So how does Google view multiple languages on the same page of a website or blog? Google employee John Mu explains.

“If you have multi-lingual content on your website, I’d recommend using separate pages per language. Our language recognition tries to find the most relevant language from your content, so that we can send you users searching in that language.”

What does that mean to you? Simple. If you are going to have copy in multiple languages on your site, be sure to keep them off the same page. Google’s crawlers may not be able to determine if the site is relevant to English searchers or Italian ones, for example. Therefore, they will likely not index it or give it a high ranking.

Be sure to localize your URLs so that your customers around the world are directed to the site most useful for them, and that your pages have a higher chance and ranking near the top for each language.

To read the full discussion thread, click here.

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