Indexing a multilingual site with Google
Tips on how to index a multilingual site
Getting a multilingual page indexed by Google can often look like a real Chinese puzzle: the multitude of languages offered by the site turn it into a veritable maze, creating substantially greater complexity. Here are a few tips to help you become a master in the art of indexing a multilingual site.
Choose one language both for the homepage and for every other page
You need to choose one language that you will use on the home page, and which will be seen as the main language of the site!
In addition, it is easier for a search engine to display optimal results when you do not use several languages on any one page. It is therefore essential to opt for a single language, whether it be for the sidebars, headers, menus, etc. Internet users will be able to access the page they want more easily, and in their chosen language.
Insert a language ID in the URL structure
Establish the difference between the pages upstream, at URL level. The visitor to your site must be able to know whether they are going to land on a page in English, French or German. For example, for a page in French and German this gives us the following URLs:
Avoid machine translation
Automatic translations and redirects should be avoided because they falsify search engine data, and the search engines will then tend to classify your texts as being spam or undesirable. Moreover, automatic translation has the rather awkward tendency of keeping almost half of the text in the original language. It is therefore neither useful nor effective.
A site for each language with the help of a 'go-between' site governing navigation
Today you have the possibility of creating an administrative site which allows sub-sites. This enables you to create a multitude of sites each having access to an administrator site. The said site then acts as a navigation canal.