What’s the best practice for dealing with duplicate content on multilingual websites?
JOHN MEULLER (Webmaster Analyst from Google):
That’s always a bit tricky. I guess with duplicate content, it’s always a bit tricky in general in general, what I’d recommend for multilingual websites is trying to make sure that they’re there as unique as possible. So maybe first off, if the content is in different languages, then for us, it’s not duplicate content. It’s really only duplicate content if really the words, the content itself, is all the same. So if you’re translating something from English into French, then even though what it’s talking about might be the same, and the phrasing might be the same, the content is different for us. It’s a different language. It’s different words. We see that as completely different content. Whereas, if you have content maybe for the UK, and you have the same content for, I don’t know, Australia maybe, then what might happen there is that this content looks exactly the same, because it’s English. And it’s just for different countries. So in cases like that, I’d really try to make sure that if you’re targeting individual countries, and you want to make sure that your content has the right version shown in individual countries then, of course, first use hreflang markup to tell us about that connection. But then also try to make sure as much as possible that there are unique aspects in there, that you’re not just taking one piece of content and duplicating it for a bunch of different countries without actually providing something unique and specific for users in that country. So that’s kind of what I would aim for there with regards to multilingual and multi regional websites.