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English/Spanish Versions Affect Each Others Rankings?

 11:33 pm on Nov 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

If a site has both an English and Spanish version, and the Spanish version picks up a lot of authoritative backlinks, could that possibly affect any of the English rankings?

Would Google consider this site to be more of a Spanish authority and rank accordingly?



 7:19 am on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

welcome to WebmasterWorld, thewebtheory!

how are the spanish and english versions interlinked?
are they on the same hostname or domain?


 2:54 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hey Phranque,

Thanks for replying. The site is wordpress, and the Spanish version is hosted in a folder so:



 7:34 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

how are the spanish and english versions interlinked?

have you specified any geotargeting in GWT for either "site"?


 3:36 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)


No that has not been done, is it something you suggest to do to avoid the issue I am wondering about?

The Spanish site gets a lot of traffic from Mexico, Spain and Argentina...

Thanks for your time!


 8:18 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

@thewebtheory, are you worried that the Spanish version might negatively affect the English version? Or are you wondering if popularity of the Spanish version could improve the English version's traffic?


 9:04 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm wondering if the Spanish site begins to perform better than the english, if it would negatively affect the english versions rankings - making it appear to be more of a spanish authority than english.


 10:11 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Are these sites using custom, regional specific content, or are all of Spanish pages "translations" of the English content (identical to English, just localized)?

We run a site in 20+ languages and have found a positive synergistic effect in our case. We use all of the best practices on all pages (canonicals, hreflang, etc.), and all of our content is "the same" across all languages (eg. no regional-specific content), so the positive effect seems logical in our situation. Even though their translation product is garbage for the most part, they are good at understanding that a page in Japanese about blue widgets is the same as the page about blue widgets in English. Thus, Japanese-language links to your JA blue widgets page is likely to count as a positive vote for your other localized versions as well (although unlikely with the same level of influence as an English link, from an English page).

Even if you are using regional-specific content, it seems unlikely that your Spanish presence would "negatively" affect your English presence. Google will be serving the page that has the most authority each specific user, regardless of you presence in other markets.


 12:58 am on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

A very good post, solvu. I look after a few multilingual sites and my experience is similar to yours.

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