Multilingualism in SEO
The process of SEO in one language is already fairly complicated, it involves struggling to second guess Google's algorithms as well as marketing and presenting websites with the needs of the consumers strongly in mind.
One of the most incredible values of the internet however is the capacity to communicate with an individual on the other side of the globe just as easily as you can chat with the old man who lives next door. This means a wealth of business opportunity as now any company has the capacity to extend their marketing away from just their local market and spread their wings to access customers overseas as easily as they might sell to someone in the next town.
Between English speaking nations this is fairly simple and extremely common as many American websites have become extremely popular in Britain, like Facebook, or even comic sources like theonion.com which strides across the Atlantic Ocean like the Colossus of Rhodes.
There are many sites that have a desire to breach international boundaries especially things like travel websites, offering services to tourists across the globe as well as their home country.
There is remarkable potential therefore, but SEO agencies then face the challenge of language. A site can easily be produced in two or more languages deriving from the same source, with the help of someone bi-lingual, what about the SEO link building though? Optimising keyword searches covering the different habits of different dialect suddenly seems insanely complicated.
Multilingual SEO content could be seen as running the risk duplicating content, as agencies will be saying the same thing but in different languages. It is thought that Google algorithms take this into account however, according to Johannes Muller, having a clearly unique set of URLs should make it clear to Google.
Johannes Muller added that crosslinking to different language versions can be a useful idea to help Google understand your website more comprehensively and rank them properly. There is also the importance of remembering the different characters used by different dialects, Germans will use umlauts over certain letters whereas other nations will often use different types of accents or even replacing the umlaut with "ue", this has an impact on how the key terms are being used. Google should recognise the varying uses of accents and take into account that customers searching using different versions of letters will often mean the same thing and as Google's research and technology department plough ever on into the future they will continue to make ever greater advances in bilingually semantic technology.
For now marketing websites across different geographical and linguistic regions does present huge opportunities to expand for those daring enough to try it, but if they don't have an excellent enough grasp on the details it can become a minefield of multilingual marketing.
Trevor Southwold - About Author:
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