An SEO professional asked John Mueller during the Question and Answer segment of his hangout about a language mismatch.
Their question was: how might Google treat a collection of pages on a site that are in one language per URL structure, for example: example.com/de/blog/article-one/?
The titles might be in German. However, the descriptions are in English, and the main content is also in English.
John explained that the question continues with more variations of that situation.
In general, John says they do focus on the primary content on the page. Google tries to use that for ranking.
If the primary content is in English, that’s a really strong sign for Google that the overall page is in English.
If there’s a lot of additional content on the page that’s in a different language, then Google might either understand this page is in two languages, or they may be a bit confused if most of the content is in another language. And perhaps the site owner says that this page is actually in German, and there’s a bit of English on it as well.
That’s one thing to watch out for. John would really make sure that if the primary content is in one language, and it’s a really big chunk of the primary content, that it’s useful for people who go to the page when they are searching for that language.
The other thing to watch out for are the page titles and primary headings on the page. These should also match the language of the primary content.
If the title of your page is in German, and the primary content of your page is in English, then it’s going to be really, really hard for Google to determine what they are going to show in the search results.
This happens at approximately the 05:04 mark in the video.