Let’s say you have multiple international sites, ccTLDs, with your business registered with a .com for the US, .fr for France, .de for Germany and so on. But you have not translated all of those sites into its local language, and some or many of those pages have the same English language you find on the .com version. Google says that is not duplicate content.
FYI – read the tweets below – I hope I didn’t cause confusion with my title – some titles are super hard to write.
This is actually a very old SEO question where even during the Matt Cutts era it received an answer. This dates back to 2011 where Matt said this is not an issue for Google.
But let’s jump forward a decade or so to 2021 and see how John Mueller of Google answered it on Twitter. He said there’s no duplicate content penalty for something like that, but concentrating your site’s value on fewer pages generally makes it easier for those pages to be more visible.”
Here are those tweets:
There’s no duplicate content penalty for something like that, but concentrating your site’s value on fewer pages generally makes it easier for those pages to be more visible.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) May 5, 2021
Now here is Matt’s video answer from 10 years ago:
If it was me, I’d hire a translator and implement hreflang but if not, do not panic to do it tomorrow, come up with a plan that works for your business.
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Update: Some clarification from the SEO community:
🧐🧐🧐… maybe. What’s sure is that if site A and site B share content in the same language, the site that will rank for those pages will probably be the most authoritative one of the 2. Hreflang may help avoiding this, but not always. Better noindex the not yet translated pages. https://t.co/KBqwaM3fSF
— Gianluca Fiorelli wears a 😷. Be like Gianluca (@gfiorelli1) May 7, 2021
Internationalization is one of those weird things that’s easy to explain on paper, yet can get amazingly complicated when you try to implement it on a non-trivial scale. You really need a smart & experienced consultant to get a bigger international site working well.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) May 7, 2021
BTW, this was a good one covering the difference between hreflang and geotargeting. Many site owners are confused with the topic… so it was great to see you explain it this way: https://t.co/sptkbDEPWV
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 7, 2021