Is Language A Google Ranking Factor?

Does language play a role in how Google rank webpages?  If your target audience speaks different language, offering your website content multiple languages would offer a better site experience.  The question is does offering multiple language affect organic search rankings?

The Claim

Your content should be in English if you want to reach English-speakers.  However, the same English content will not have a good time ranking well if it finds its way into other markets where other languages are spoken.  Businesses that want to reach customers who speak different languages in specific countries can do so by creating content in multiple languages.  So, it would make some sense that language play some role in Google ranks webpages.  Search engines will always offer their best to users  supplying them with the most relevant results.

Evidence

Google’s Advanced SEO documentation shares how you can tell Google about localized versions of your page.  Google recommends to use different URLs for different language versions of a page.  Marking each URL with the language you are using to help search engines understand what is going on.   There are different ways to organize these language-specific pages in a few different ways.

HTML Tags:

The first option you can utilize is using hreflang attributes in the HTML tags of a page, which notifies search engines the target language and country for the page.

HTTP Header:

You can also include hreflang tags in the HTTP header.  This helps indicate the language of non-HTML files.

Sitemaps:

You can also use your sitemap to specify a page’s language and region variants .  This  involves listing each language specific  URL under a <loc> tag.

The Verdict

Google takes language preferences into account when serving search results.  On the other hand Google states that they do not use tags, domains, subdirectories to determine the language or audience.  So, does not officially state that it is a ranking factor, language settings affect visibility for users based on particular language and location.  Therefore, using multiple languages for your target audience will affect organic ranking.

Contact Boston Web Marketing

To learn more about how to improve your website’s traffic, contact the SEO Specialists at Boston Web Marketing today! We provide businesses of all sizes with search engine optimization, social media management, website management, and other digital marketing services! Give us a call at (857) 526-0096, or fill out the contact form on our website to learn more!

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