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Non English, non Latin characters... effect on SEO?

     
10:49 am on Oct 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello-

One of my site is in English, targeting English speaking audience.

Let's take the example, of a page about "widget". Description, historical information, usage, etc... all in English. Now, I would like to add a section, on the same page, with the name of this "widget", in different languages, so that, visitors , if they travel to a non English speaking country, can figure out the name of this widget, in the local language, or/and, if they see the name in the local language, they can find out what is it in English.

So I would like to know, if there can be a negative impact, of mixing non English, and sometimes non Latin characters, within an English page?

This is only few words, the sentences themselves are in English. I do use meta tag to specify the main language of the page.
1:11 pm on Oct 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I, too, am interested in an answer. I often mix English and Chinese characters in a single page. I've always wondered about its effects on SEO.

While I am heavily indexed by Chinese search engines, most of my content is unavailable in China. I know this because I've checked the Chinese search engines, so Chinese SEO seems like a brick wall.
1:50 pm on Oct 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google has problems with mixing languages on a page, and has said so specifically. I've even seen an English language product name produce difficulty for an otherwise completely non-English page.

Way back, we had some extensive discussions on this... and I'll try to find those references.

2:53 pm on Oct 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Right, so when they evaluate the correctness of spelling and grammar, whose dictionary do they use?
5:29 pm on Oct 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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On top of everything else, G has said repeatedly that they ignore the <lang> attribute, so you can’t even tell them what dictionary to use.

non English, and sometimes non Latin characters
When you say non-Latin, do you mean “outside the Latin-1 (and/or Windows 1252) character set” or “using a non-Latin script”? It may or may not be relevant, but it can’t hurt to be precise.

It probably also matters if the page is in a language G knows. Yes, there exist languages even Google doesn't know ;)
6:05 pm on Oct 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello-

In my case, I was speaking about adding Russia, Chinese, Turkish, etc... words inside an English page.
10:02 pm on Oct 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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JorgeV, my semi-educated guess on this... while UTF-8 should handle character encoding, IMO, if you mix enough languages, or are simply unlucky, hreflang is going to be necessary to clarify preferences for Google.

Here is the thread I was thinking of in my post above, and which I include now only as an illustration of what was happening prior to hreflang, which was introduced in 2011. The thread, which brough together lots of issues, dates from mid 2010.

Translate problem in Google SERP - not always ranking right language
July-Aug 2010
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4169769.htm [webmasterworld.com]

I should add that hreflang is not for the timid, and I routinely see major international enterprise sites get it wrong. In general, their major mistake seems to be using old templates, which rely on the deprecated <lang> attribute.

12:22 am on Oct 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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the deprecated <lang> attribute
Someone will have to tell the folks at w3 that “Google doesn’t use it” now means the same thing as “deprecated”.
12:37 am on Oct 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In general (as in real print media) the use of "foreign words/language" in an otherwise one language article is perfectly okay ... after all that IS the word used in the other language being referenced.

Early days on the web that also did not seem to be a problem when used as definitions or "lookup":

HELLO, grüß Gott, hola, &#915;&#949;&#953;&#945; &#963;&#945;&#962;, buon giorno, zdravstvuyte, god dag .... etc. These usually did not cause any problems. I still think these usages are accepted by the search engines, particularly if the foreign (to the page's language) words are 10% or less ... that said...

G is more particular these days and some have observed indexing oddities so it is very difficult to say yea or nay on inclusion of foreign words in any articles. HOWEVER, I am going to continue using the foreign word when it is absolute best word for the content AND the user.

Write for your audience ... don't write for a search engine.
1:46 am on Oct 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Someone will have to tell the folks at w3 that “Google doesn’t use it” now means the same thing as “deprecated”
.
Mea culpa, lucy24. I thought I'd be hearing from you about that one.