SEOTech

Is Language A Google Ranking Factor?

Can using multiple languages affect your organic search rankings? Let us see if Google uses language as a ranking factor.

Websites that are available in multiple languages allow you to target people based on their preferred language.

Can use multiple languages, on the other hand, have an effect on your organic search rankings?

Continue reading to discover whether there is a relationship between language and higher Google rankings.

According to the claim, language is a ranking factor.

If you want to reach out to people who speak English, create content in English.

The same English content, on the other hand, is unlikely to rank well in markets dominated by Chinese, Arabic, or Spanish.

Businesses that want to reach customers who speak different languages in specific countries can do so by creating content in multiple languages.

Doesn’t it seem logical that language plays a role in how Google ranks web pages?

Using the methods listed below, you can tell search engines which language and country you want them to target.

The first option is to use the hreflang attribute, which tells search engines what language and country the page is targeting.

The content language meta tag, which informs search engines about the page’s target language and country, is the second option.

The hreflang and meta tags in both cases inform search engines that the page is intended for English speakers in the United Kingdom.

Top-level domain names, such as https://domain.it/ for an Italian website, can be used for specific countries. This informs search engines that the entire website is geared toward Italians.

Subdirectories can also be used to categorize content based on language and country. The content at https://domain.com/en-us/, for example, is intended for English speakers in the United States.

Evidence for Language as a Ranking Factor

The Advanced SEO section of Google Search Central contains detailed instructions on how to manage multi-regional and multilingual sites. It explains how to tell Google about different language versions by utilizing the previously discussed HTML tags, meta tags, and URL structures.

Language is also mentioned in Google’s explanation of how search algorithms work. It says:

“Search settings are also an important indicator of which results you’re likely to find useful, such as if you set a preferred language or opted in to SafeSearch (a tool that helps filter out explicit results).”

If a searcher specifies English as their preferred language and Canada as their location, websites that target English speakers in Canada using the following methods will outrank sites that do not specify a language or a country:

  • https://domain.ca/en/
  • https://domain.com/en-ca/

In some cases, Google recommends the use of canonical tags.

“If you provide similar or duplicate content on different URLs in the same language as part of a multi-regional site (for instance, if both example.de/ and example.com/de/ show similar German language content), you should pick a preferred version and use the rel=”canonical” element and hreflang tags to make sure that the correct language or regional URL is served to searchers.”

Google’s Advanced SEO documentation on consolidating duplicate URLs discusses the relationship between canonical tags and language.

“Different language versions of a single page are considered duplicates only if the main content is in the same language (that is, if only the header, footer, and other non-critical text is translated, but the body remains the same, then the pages are considered to be duplicates).”

Read SEO Freelancing: 10 Must-Know Facts.

According to their canonicalization dos and don’ts, you should:

“Specify a canonical page when using hreflang tags. Specify a canonical page in same language, or the best possible substitute language if a canonical doesn’t exist for the same language.”

Our Opinion on Language as a Ranking Factor

Language is discussed on Google’s page about how search algorithms work. Language is also available in the Advanced SEO documentation on Google Search Central.

Although Google has not officially confirmed it as a ranking factor, language and country settings do have an impact on search visibility for users who specify a specific language and location.

As a result, we believe language is a Google ranking factor.

Need help with our free SEO tools? Try our free Website ReviewerOnline Ping Website ToolPage Speed Checker.

Learn more from SEO and read SEO Best Practices: How to Write Outstanding Meta Descriptions.

John Harper

#1 File Information bestselling author John Harper loves to dispel the myth that smart men & women don’t read (or write) romance, and if you watch reruns of the game show The Weakest Link you might just catch him winning the $77,000 jackpot. In 2021, Netflix will premiere Bridgerton, based on his popular series of novels about the Why Files.

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