Do you know there are website that offer more than one language? Such websites are called multilingual websites and a good example is the Canadian business, which has an English, and a French version on its site.

Owners of such websites come up with such sites with a motive bent on targeting a particular audience that comprise of speakers who languages are different. A person with a blog whose language is Latin American normally aims to reach the Brazilian audience and he or she may also choose to publish his content in Portuguese. But someone who intends to reach out for soccer fans in a country like Argentina should provide content whose language is Spanish.

Google and language recognition

Giant search engine Google has been structured in such a way that it tries to establish the main languages of each one of a user’s pages; a user can assist to make language recognition easier by sticking to one language per page let alone keep away from side-by-side translations. While Google has the capacity to distinguish a page as being in more than one language, the giant search engine suggests using the same language for all components of a page such as headers, sidebars, menus etc.

Worth noting is that a person who comes to Google and conduct a search in their language expects to find restricted search results and this is where the services of a webmaster are required. If a Webmaster is going to localize these search results he should make it visible in the search results with some of Google’s tips below:

The anatomy of a multilingual site: URL structure

You don’t need to come up with special URLs when you are developing a multilingual website; you simply need to categorize what section of your website they’re on by simply glancing at the URLs.

Crawling and indexing your multilingual website

It’s important that you enable automated translations to get indexed; they don’t normally make sense but they can be regarded as spam. If your audience is not familiar with automated translation, ask yourself whether you really want to give your users that kind of content. If you decide to localize your content, just make sure you make it easier for Googlebot to crawl all language versions of your site; this is just the same as providing links between pages with the same content in different languages.

Working with character encodings

 Google has a way of wheedling out character encodings from HTTP headers, HTML page headers and content. Users don’t require much work here rather than look out for conflicting information such as between content and headers. Since Google recognizes numerous character encodings, it’s important for users to make use of UTF-8 on their websites whenever possible.

Source: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2013/03/working-with-multilingual-websites.html