How To SEO A Multilingual Drupal Site?

inShare Many Languages bad for business? As for now there’s been a lot done for Drupal sites from the SEO perspective as Drupal is getting very big in the modern internet. You are probably aware of how to make your site to the top of Google’s search results and you can probably do so with your eyes closed. But what happens if your site is supporting multiple languages? Does that matter to Google and is there any extra effort required? Or an even more interesting scenario when you have some content that will vary due the language your user chooses and some content that will not at the very same time? Will your xml site maps as well as hreflang metatags be able to deal with Google in a proper manner? There are several awesome contributed modules for Drupal that are assisting with SEO and are dramatically improving your ratings with search results. They will work out great without even bothering you too much until the day you realize you need a multilingual website. Those are Hell for Google which actually despites duplicated content and has some (unknown to anybody, yet legends say they are involving human sacrifices) measures of preventing them from search results. What will Google see? So you are up to become multicultural and are wishing to create a multilingual Drupal site. So far so good. You are enabling several desired languages via the URL language negotiation options. Then you are translating nodes using the Entity Translation module thus gaining the ability of accessing the content through the required amount of URL’s that is equal to enabled languages. That same thing works for the content that is language neutral. Thus it will be available in English, French, Polish, or whatever your choice languages via the usage of appropriate prefixes like ‘eng/’ or ‘pol/’, etc. inside the URL. Thus you might have a problem of duplicated content as the same stuff will be posted on all pages. Google actually hates duplicated content as some foul people are often trying to use it to their advantage. That is cheating and, as we all know, everybody hates cheaters, especially Google. Thus it might be over-suspicious. Thus Google has some measures that were mentioned in the second paragraph of this post. Drupal on its side is actually creating multiple duplications as it was created that way. Let’s begin with some facts you’d want to know: The content of your site may be assigned to the system URL as well as to the user friendly path URL. You have the ability of accessing with or without using the trailing slash in the URL’s end. Sure you might say this is not any kind of duplication and it will affect nothing yet are you personally familiar with Google’s engines? Do you know their favorite ice-cream flavor and the preferred TV shows, because I don’t. And I’d love to stick with safe rather than sorry. The solution is quite easy anyways. What is the solution? Just install an appropriate module, its Drupal we are talking about. I’d bet it already has a beer-making module and some active development on something that will stop worldwide wars and starvation. I’d go with the globalredirect module here (the SEO I mean, not the end of starvation). It will create 301 redirects as well as a sweet metatag module that will be adding some traditional metatags to your pages headings. But this still is not solving the translation issues, right? Google may still be finding the translated content suspiciously duplicated. It will most likely care not that they are coming from the same original content as it is evil (note, based on personal experience). It needs to be told you are not cheating. How to explain Google the obvious? The fact that it’s going through translations rather than duplicated content? Its search engines are suggesting you to use some rel=”alternate” hreflang=”XX” tag magic. It is good enough for both translated as well as language neutral pages. This magic has a bonus as well. You’ll be giving Google the appropriate tips for the content’s target audience as well. That means that the ‘pol/’ version of your site will be given to users who are surfing from Poland. This is what actually moved one of my multilingual sites from page 12 of the search results to page 5 and I find that quite impressive, thus you are welcome.