An SEO professional was asking John Mueller during a recent hangout about their language translation – more specifically, how low quality sections of their site can impact SEO.
The SEO professional explained that they have an established website in French. It has existed for a number of years and has had SEO success.
He wants to add a German language version to the site, on the same domain. The website owner uses automated translation in order to create these language translations.
They are aware that Google doesn’t like automated or generated content.
They are wondering how the poor German version, when compared to the established French website, would be perceived by Google.
They asked if the poor German version would affect the French language version.
Would each language version be considered separately from another version? Or could it be considered as more of a neighborhood effect?
Basically, the SEO professional was referring to the possibility of one bad language version causing all other versions to suffer negatively in terms of SEO.
John explained that yes, a poor language translation can have a negative impact on SEO.
Google will examine the entire site overall, and make judgements about that from the whole site perspective.
For example, if one large section of a site is great quality, but another large section of the site is lower in quality, then the lower quality version can pull down the performance of the site overall because of that lower quality version.
This happens at approximately the 6:39 mark in the video.