In case you have a website that is fairly popular you would most certainly want it to reach people speaking other languages so that your market expands. A broader audience not only means more traffic, but also increases your revenue substantially.
A recent video featuring Maile Ohye, Developer Program Tech Lead at Google gives great tips and talks about current best practices on expanding your reach to audiences of other languages. The video is particularly helpful if you want to reach out to people from other countries with a website that is search friendly.
The video gives you step by step instructions on expanding in other languages, what you need to consider before doing that, and how it is done practically. The video also talks about what search issues you could face when reaching out to audiences in multiple languages.
Before you reach out to different audiences in other countries, you will need regional and special language tags so that Google knows exactly how to serve your website to such audiences. Google recommends the use of rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”.
In fact, Google has an extensive help document that tells you how these tags are to be used.
One of the common problems is users getting search results that highlight incorrect landing pages. For example a user in UK could get a URL that has US English instead of getting en-uk version of the webpage. Another issue that confuses users is they get multiple options for the same site and content. This is due to the fact that Google doesn’t understand that duplicate appearing pages are meant for different audiences speaking different languages.
To avoid all such confusion we recommend that you watch the video, it is time well spent. In the video Google acknowledges the problems faced and tells you how to deal with them.