SEO Tip #62: How Does Google Handle a Page Containing Multiple Languages?

Matt Cutts: Well the short answer is we try to handle things as best we can. So even if you mix different languages on a page we’ll try to interpret that correctly, identify the language of the page and then return it when we think it’s most appropriate, whether it be for Italian language searches of for English searches.

But, I would say as a best practice you normally want to make sure that all of the stuff on the page is in a single language if you can. Now, for example, if you’re quoting someone who’s talking in a different language, it might not be possible to make sure that it’s always the same language. But to the degree that you can I would recommend having pages all in a single language.

If that means that you end up having one Italian page and one English page that’s completely fine because it can rank for both Italian and regular American or British users. But if you can, I would avoid sort of interleaving those languages because we try to say what is the most dominant or which language occurs the most in terms of language on the page. And if we have trouble dig that then it might not rank where you would like it to rank for your users.

So you certainly can mix the languages. We’ll try to do the best that we can but if you are at all able to I would say try to separate different languages onto different pages.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.