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Translate problem in Google SERP - not always ranking right language
uggur



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 7:03 am on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

I created a web site about 3 months ago. When i publish it, all language metatags and on gwt settings are setted to geographical location turkey and turkish language. I'm writing lots of unique articles in turkish language. In google serp positions are good for my main keywords. But 1 month later and now again, when i search in google.com.tr, google suggesting to me "translate this page". Sometimes i'm using english word because my articles about seo and internet technology etc. But also when we look at keyword and word densivity on page, using turkish words %95.

Sometimes this suggestion disappeared but now its come back again and when it come back, google serp position starting down for my keyword. When its sometimes ("translate suggestion") disappeared, google serp position going up.

Finaly my question is how can i fix it. Because whenever google suggest for "translate this page", my position going down. And sometimes when its disappeared, i located to first and in google serp other keywords listing going up.

Thanks,
Ugur

 

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 7:40 am on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi Ugur - Interesting situation... When Google is seeing that the page is Turkish, the Translate suggestion doesn't appear and the page ranks well in the Turkish SERPs. And when the page seems to need translation into Turkish, your rankings drop.

I'm wondering... apart from the 5% English words on the page, what other signals might Google be seeing to make it think that the page is in English? A number of questions come to mind...

- Is your TLD .tr... or is it a more geo-neutral TLD like a .com or a .net?

- Is the situation query dependent... ie, do you get the Translate suggestion when you come up for some queries but not for others? Does this happen to all pages on the site, or just to some?

- Are your queries and/or keywords in Turkish, or English, or a mix?

- Are most of your links from Turkish language sites, or are some from English language sites? What about the language of the links? And what about page titles and headings?

You see where I'm going with all this... trying to identify possible reasons why Google might associate the English language with the site more than you think it should. What do you think?

uggur



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 8:03 am on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi robert, thanks for reply. I dont know how google think that page is english but it starting to makes me boring. Here your answers:

-my domain is geo-neutral TLD, .com
-I get this suggestion for all queries. And google suggesting to translate this page for only homepage. Other pages looking fine and i have never seen any suggestion for them.
-My queries are predominantly turkish but some of queries are mix (turkish and english).
-I dont know exactly but predominantly my backlinks from english sites. These backlinks giving to me naturaly and some of backlinks from blog commenting. But i have turkish backlinks too. My page title and headings are turkish but some of sub headings have "seo" word. In turkish seo=amo but i'm using as seo on my all pages content and titles.

Now, i cant think anymore because all definitions for turkish language in metatags and html tag. But i think this problem looking for from english backlinks but i think this reason is absurd. Besides I dont want to use notranslate meta. I wanna to resolve it from naturally ways.

My some html codes are:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="tr" dir="ltr" lang="tr-TR">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="tr" />
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1254" />

uggur



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 11:09 am on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone has an idea for fix this problem or determine to what is the problem?

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 7:00 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

uggur - Localisation is always an area that's been tricky with Google. I've never before seen it combined, though, with Translate issues.

You've got a geo-neutral TLD, though, combined with search terms where the English usage is more common than the Turkish usage.

In turkish seo=amo but i'm using as seo on my all pages content and titles.

You can't change the local usage issue. I've looked in the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool, and, from what I see, it appears that "seo" over "amo" is the overwhelming preference in Turkey... even with preferences set to Turkish and location set to Turkey.

The word "amo" is apparently used most commonly to mean "I love". Is my observation correct?

I've worked on European sites where many of the target terms were exactly the same in the European language and in English. But the TLDs were always for the European countries, and the bulk of the sites (even more than 95%) were in the native European languages... so we never had any Translate suggestion issues.

I dont know exactly but predominantly my backlinks from english sites. These backlinks giving to me naturaly and some of backlinks from blog commenting. But i have turkish backlinks too.

It may help... and this is an educated guess, but it is a guess... to get more Turkish inbound links to your home page, and to add more Turkish to your home page where it's not detracting from common mixed-language (ie, English and Turkish) usage. Try to remove English where it's superfluous.

In geo targeting, Google looks for whatever localisation hints it can find, and these include the language, the TLD, inbound link sources, location indications (like addresses) on the site itself, and server location. It may be that inbound links and on-page localisation hints are all you have to play with. Position on the page of where the English is may also be a factor.

Just out of curiosity... do you control the .tr version of your domain, and is there any reason you've used the .com in preference? It seems that the .tr would control many of your issues, though I'm not suggesting you switch at this point.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 7:26 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Does your server return a Content-Language header in the HTTP response? If so is it set to Turkish? A server's HTTP responses tend to take priority over meta tags or even automated language analysis with Google. So if Content-Language is mis-configured or missing, that may be the problem.

uggur



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 10:48 am on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi Robert,

Yes your observation is correct. I'm updating to my content every 3 days (they are unique and rarely using seo and other english words) and now i'm be carefull about using english words.

Okey, i will try to remove English words but other problem for example in turkish, "son konular" means "last topics". But google see "son" word for english and it translating for "oglu konular". (in turkish son=oglu similar words.). Second issue is; when i click to "translate this page" link on google serp, i see a frame top of page for translate language to language. When i click to determine language for translate to turkish, google gives an error "Translation is not supported in this way: Turkish - Turkish."

So im understanding that google determine my site for turkish language but in a meaningless way it suggest to translate turkish on serp. I confused.

And tedster i asked to my hosting provider for content-language header in the http response. He said that, any language is returned. So today i added a code to my htaccess file like this :

<FilesMatch "\.(html|htm|xml|txt|xsl)$">
AddDefaultCharset UTF-8
DefaultLanguage tr-TR
</FilesMatch>

But as i said that in metatags and google webmasters tools, i setted to turkish language and geo-location is turkey.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 3:40 pm on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's good you made that change to .htaccess - it certainly can't hurt. Once in a while other members here have mentioned a similar problem with Google getting the content language wrong. As far as I remember, we never had a report of how it got fixed - or even if it got fixed.

So please, if this problem does clear up for you, do let us know when and how. It would help other people in the future.

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 9:53 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

See this new discussion for more word from Google on this. The basic advice is to try to stick to a single language on a page....

How Does Google Handle More than One Language on a Page?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4177377.htm
[webmasterworld.com...]

uggur



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 6:16 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes basicly johnmu is right, but im using foriegn language for not "see this content to other language". Some foriegn words are more using than Turkish words. So sometimes i must use english words. But when we analyze to keyword densivity, Turkish words with a very high utilization rates.

But today this suggestion disappeared again. So what i do nowadays:

-I be obliged to use notranslate meta. :(
-I added to my htaccess for default language.
-I removed some foreign words on my main page.

And my site started to regain its all positions on google serp. I opened same topic on webmaster central help. [google.com...]

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 6:42 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Some foriegn words are more using than Turkish words.

Yes, as I posted above, that was my observation when I checked the keyword tool....

I've looked in the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool, and, from what I see, it appears that "seo" over "amo" is the overwhelming preference in Turkey... even with preferences set to Turkish and location set to Turkey.

I think you have no choice except to stay with common usage. I don't know whether the translate tool pays attention to the other localisation factors I suggested you try: ie, more inbound links from Turkish language sites, and perhaps a local address on the page.

I think the problem might disappear if you had the .tr TLD for your domain, but that's a pretty extreme change, not made casually. On the other hand, if you're targeting Turkey only and you have the .tr version of the domain (you didn't say whether you did), then it's an option.

You might also want to jump into that Google discussion and explain the situation about local usage.

uggur



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 7:55 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes already i care about backlinks source from beginning this problem. I forget add to some substance. What i do nowadays list:

-I be obliged to use notranslate meta. :(
-I added to my htaccess for default language.
-I removed some foreign words on my main page.
-I put on country name "Türkiye" word (In Turkish Turkey=Türkiye) to footer
-I added google maps where it pointing to Turkey on contact page.

Yes, currently i targeting to Turkey but i can't change my domain name. Its imposibble for my business but on the other hand when i reg domain name, i setted to "Geographic target: Target users in Turkey" on gwt.

Other Turkish sites have same problem because they are using some english words too. But i said that "when we analyze to keyword densivity, Turkish words with a very high utilization rates."

And JohnMu said :

"Our language recognition tries to find the most relevant language from your content, so that we can send you users searching in that language. Having the language in the URL (as Robbo suggested) is a great way to make the language of the pages clear to users, so if you can do that, it might make sense (Google determines the language based on the content, so it's not necessary for us)."

I think this suggestion disappered because of added notranslate metatag. The other point i notice and i posted above : when i click to "translate this page" link on google serp, i see a frame top of page for translate language to language. When i click to determine language for translate to turkish, google gives an error "Translation is not supported in this way: Turkish - Turkish."

Seems google determine my language for turkish but i confused why at that time google gives suggestion for translate.

uggur



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 7:09 am on Aug 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

The problem solved. Google SERP does not show any suggestion for translating and i regain all old positions. So what i do for fix it. Here is the list:

-I used notranslate meta.
-I added to my htaccess for default language.
-I removed some foreign words on my main page.
-I get some turkish backlinks.
-I put on country name "Türkiye" word (In Turkish Turkey=Türkiye) to footer
-I added google maps where it pointing to Turkey on contact page.
-Update to my web sites content every 3-4 days (avarage).
-I used these tags in <html> :
    xml:lang="tr"
    dir="ltr"
    lang="tr-TR"

Thanks.

httpwebwitch

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 11:58 am on Aug 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

"No-translate" tagging
Here's what Google says
If you're a webmaster and would prefer your web page not be translated by Google Translate, just insert the following meta tag into your HTML file:

<meta name="google" value="notranslate">

If you don't mind your web page being translated by Google Translate, except for a particular section (like an email address, for example), just add "class=notranslate" to any HTML element to prevent that element from being translated. For example:

Email us at <span class="notranslate"> sales at example dot com</span>
source: [translate.google.com...]

DefaultLanguage in htaccess
I believe this affects how Apache responds to HTTP requests that contain an Accept-Language header. I don't think it actually changes the HTTP response, does it? I'm uncertain how this works
see: [httpd.apache.org...]

attributes of the <html> element
W3C says make sure the attributes are chosen to match your doctype.
see: [w3.org...]

jdMorgan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 1:18 pm on Aug 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

The DefaultLanguage and AddLanguage server directives are intended for use with server-side content-negotiation (MultiViews), where the server can return documents in different languages based on the client's Accept-Language header (as configured by the user in the browser preferences, for example).

More appropriate to the current problem would be the "Content-Language" HTTP server response header which, in addition to the "lang=" attribute returned in the document itself, would very explicitly declare your documents' language.

So I'd suggest adding a directive to the .htaccess snippet posted above to send this header:

<FilesMatch "\.(html?|xml|txt|xsl)$">
AddDefaultCharset UTF-8
DefaultLanguage tr-TR
AddLanguage tr .html .htm .xml .txt .xsl
ErrorHeader set Content-Language: "tr"
</FilesMatch>

Use of the "ErrorHeader set" directive requires that the mod_headers module be available on the server, otherwise a 500-Server Error will occur.

The "Default Language" and "AddLanguage" directives are only meaningful if MultiViews (content negotiation) is enabled by the use of "Options MultiViews" or "Options +MultiViews" in the server config or .htaccess files. You might want to include these directives anyway, if only for insurance in the case that MultiViews are currently enabled, or are enabled later by accident or design.

The ErrorHeader directive is similar to the Header directive, except that it is also applied to server error responses as well as 20x-series "success" responses. This is appropriate if *all* documents on the server -- including error response pages, are in the same language. Otherwise, use "Header set" instead.

Note the minor regex efficiency tweak to match either "html" or "htm" in the <FilesMatch> pattern.

You can use the "Live HTTP Headers" add-on for Firefox and other Mozilla-based browsers (or any similar add-on) to verify correct server response headers.

Jim

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 12:26 pm on Aug 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

We are managing a site that runs in 6 languages and is on COM domain, but is hosted in Croatia. The home page language is English.

Couple of months ago the home page (which was completely in English apart from one 3-word phrase in Croatian in footer) suddenly started showing "Translate this page" in SERPs and we also noticed that we lost couple of places in ranking on Google.com and Google.co.uk (e.g. from #1 to #4, from #2 to #4 and similar). Interestingly, this happened for home page only, the other English pages did not get "Translate this page" in SERPs.

Two weeks ago we did some changes to explicitly specify english language in meta tags and to translate three word phrase on the home page to English so that there is no Croatian language on the page. The page was re-crawled two weeks ago.

Today we noticed that home page finally lost "Translate this page" in SERPs and moved up in SERPs between 2-4 places.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:36 pm (utc) on Aug 24, 2010]
[edit reason] moved post to this thread [/edit]

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 9:18 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google has introduced a new tag for mixed language pages:

If you have a global site containing pages where the:

* template (i.e. side navigation, footer) is machine-translated into various languages,
* main content remains unchanged, creating largely duplicate pages,

and sometimes search results direct users to the wrong language, we’d like to help you better target your international/multilingual audience through:

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang="a-different-language" href="http://url-of-the-different-language-page" />


[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com ]

uggur



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 7:05 am on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

aakk9999, yeap i read it but the my problems sources' is not multi-language. In turkish, we are using some english words (technical words etc.) so i already write in turkish but google see my page english because of 5-6 english words.

But now the problem is solved. I wrote what i changed on my page at above.

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4169769 posted 3:09 am on Oct 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

For reference, I'm posting a link to this discussion, which touches on some of the issues discussed here (along with many others) and provides an excellent overview of multi-language site issues....

In Supporters (membership required)...
SEO for multi-language sites. Advice?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/supporters/4183709.htm [webmasterworld.com]

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