Does SEO Work the Same Way in Different Languages?

The invention of the internet has closed the distance between people in a monumental way, no longer do you have to send inconvenient letters or align your schedules to speak over the phone.

One wall in particular that the internet has absolutely bulldozed is one of language. Speaking to someone across the world without needing to understanding the same language is pretty incredible when you think about it, how often have you scrolled past a post in a different language on social media and with a click of a button had it be translated into your own?

This is something that simply would not have been possible several years ago.

Many businesses worldwide use the internet and search engines as a way to market their businesses and interact with their client base, which prompts the question; Does SEO work the same way in different languages?

An image of two people communicating

The Internet Covers Thousands of Miles in a Split Second

Being an American company at its source, Google was created primarily to be used in English but as it grew into a global phenomenon, more languages were consistently added. They currently sit at 149 supported languages.   

The tool that has sway over SEO rankings is the Google Algorithm which gauges the quality of websites based on its search quality criteria. The foundations of the algorithm – as well as its function – is more or less the same across all languages.

Where we start to see some of the differences is in the language which the algorithm is designed to recognise. Some languages don’t use the Latin alphabet, others don’t use spaces, and some are written right to left as opposed to left to right. If the Google algorithm we use in the UK was to be used on one of these languages, I imagine it would get pretty confused.

Due to this, Google has had to implement some slight changes in order to assist its algorithm with the recognition of keywords and search terms.

This also means that Google can’t really recognise the same content if written in different languages and thereby relies on the content creators to identify the language through the use of the Hreflang tag.

There are simply too many language combinations for Google to discern which language is which.

When looking to carry out SEO, its important to keep in mind that the fundamentals of the algorithm are the same, even if you may be required to optimise toward keywords in a different language as well as learning some of the colloquial terms to get the most out of your strategy.

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