During the question and answer portion of a John Mueller hangout, a webmaster asked John about having two languages on the page.
The webmaster was ranking well for both languages (Hindi and English) until the December core update. Then the site dropped, mostly for Hindi keywords.
The webmaster was curious about what would cause this ranking drop and if there was anything they could do to correct it.
John said Google doesn’t recommend using more than one language per page. Instead, they recommend an implementation where you would have Hindi clearly on one page and English clearly on another.
If more than one language is used on a page, Google could misunderstand whether or not someone is searching for English vs. Hindi and not actually show the page as a result.
This conversation happens at approximately the 33:32 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
John (Question) 33:32
I was having two languages, like Hindi and English, on the same page, and I was ranking good on Google. But after the December core update, I lost ranking for Hindi keywords, mostly, what should I do to get it back?
John (Answer) 33:44
I don’t know. So, on the one hand, we don’t recommend having multiple languages per page, because it makes it really hard for us to understand which language is the primary language for this page.
So from that point of view, I think that configuration of having like, I don’t know, Hindi on one side, English on the other side on a single page, is something that can be problematic on its own. So I would try to avoid that setup and instead make pages that are clearly in Hindi and clearly in English.
And by having separate pages like that, it’s a lot easier for us to say, “Oh, so when searching in Hindi for this keyword, here’s a page on this specific topic.”
Whereas if we can’t recognize the language properly, then we might say, well, we have an English page, but the user is searching in Hindi, so we probably shouldn’t show it to the user.
And if we’re not sure about the language of a page, then that’s also kind of tricky, especially when the other comparative pages out there are clearly in Hindi.
So that’s kind of the one thing the other thing is with regards to Core updates, we have a lot of blog posts around core updates. And I would go through those as well.
Because if you’re seeing this kind of a change happening together with a core update, it might be due to two languages on the page. But probably it’s more likely due to just general core update changes that we’ve made.
So I would take a look at those blog posts and think about what you might want to do to kind of make sure that your site is still very relevant to modern users.