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Google’s John Mueller advises in opposition to creating too many pages in a number of lanaguages, until it’s completely mandatory.
This recommendation was supplied on Reddit in response to a thread in r/TechSEO the place somebody was on the lookout for assist with hreflang.
”I’ve a world web site that I’m managing for a shopper that has pages being listed for various languages. The drawback is that some pages are nonetheless in english (ex: instance.com/ru nonetheless has english content material).
Since the X-default is english, there’s no must have these different URLs, but they’re sadly being created and listed as new content material will get added, with the one distinction being the URL.
Reading Google’s pointers (if I understood accurately, which I could not have), they recommend blocking these URLs within the robots.txt file, however ought to these pages which might be already listed be eliminated, redirected, canonicalised, or noindexed? I’m stumped, so any assistance is appreciated.”
John Mueller’s Response
Mueller says the pages which have already been created ought to undoubtedly not be blocked on disallowed in robots.txt. If they’re disallowed from crawling Google received’t be capable of canonicalize them in any respect.
When hreflang is thrown into the combination issues can get overly sophisticated, Mueller explains:
“It’s easy to dig into endless pits of complexity with hreflang. “Let’s create all languages! Let’s make pages for all countries! What if someone in Japan wants to read it in Swahili? Let’s make even more pages!” My guess is most of these “pages created because you can” get little or no visitors, add little or no worth, and so they add a big overhead (crawling, indexing, canonicalization, rating, upkeep, hreflang, structured knowledge, and many others.).”
Ideally, web site homeowners ought to restrict the quantity of multi-language pages to people who are mandatory for the positioning to realize its objectives.
“My recommendation would be first to limit the number of pages you create to those that are absolutely critical & valuable — maybe that already cuts the pages you’re thinking about. Think big here; if you’re talking about individual pages within a medium-sized site, it’s probably a non-issue. On the other hand, if you’re considering copying your whole site into 20 languages x 10 countries, that’s something else.”
When it involves hreflang particularly, Mueller recommends specializing in pages which might be receiving wrong-language visitors.
“Past that, for hreflang, I’d focus first on pages where you’re seeing wrong-language traffic — often these are pages that get a lot of global, branded queries, where it’s hard to determine which language content they want. A search for “google” can match lots of language pages, hreflang might help to distinguish. On the opposite hand, a seek for “search engine” is fairly clear & matches pages the place you write about “search engine” already, so pages like that don’t want as a lot assist being language-targeted.”
Lastly, Mueller notes that it may be troublesome to find out easy methods to steadiness the “just do it everywhere” method with the “save effort by thinking” method.