Google Looks At Language On A Per Page Basis, Not Site Wide Basis

This is just a reminder, that Google says it does not look at the language of your site overall but rather the language of each of your individual pages on your site. So you can have some pages in English, some in Spanish, some in Hebrew, etc. Just don’t mix the languages on the same page, the same URL.

Google’s John Mueller said this again in this Friday’s hangout at the 31:21 mark he said “first of all when when we look at language, we look at that on a per page basis.” John said this in 2010 and also in 2021. In short, Google says you should try not to mix languages on the same page.

Here was the question:

The next question is also about different countries languages. We run a website with 300 index pages all in U.S. English. We’re looking to translate half of these pages to Spanish, which will be placed in a subdirectory on the same domain and tagged as alternate language versions of the US content. Is it okay to translate only some of the website’s content or should we translate everything and exactly mirror the English website to stand the best chance of ranking in other locations? Will google perceive the website as being less comprehensive or authoritative to Spanish users if not all content is translated? Is it an issue if the Spanish version of a page links internally to content that is in English?

Here is John’s answer:

So first of all when when we look at language, we look at that on a per page basis. So it’s not so much that we try to understand this part of the website is Spanish and this part is in English. We essentially look at an individual page and say well it looks like this page is in Spanish and then when someone searches for something Spanish we will be able to show that to them.

So from that point of view it doesn’t matter if only a part of your website is translated into a different language that happens usually you start somewhere and you kind of expand from there.

I think the aspect of internal linking could be a bit tricky in that it could provide a bad user experience if your internal linking is like all focused on the English version. But if you have individual pages which are in English only and you link to them from your Spanish version that happens. I think that’s something that’s pretty common across a lot of different websites. It’s just for for the most part if you have Spanish versions of your pages then i would try to make sure that the Spanish version is also properly interlinked. But if there are individual pages that are not in Spanish then link to the English one at least.

So it is okay to link your Spanish pages to English pages when you don’t have a Spanish version to link to.

Here is the video embed:

Forum discussion at YouTube Community.

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