My particular case: I have an established site that ranks in the top 5 positions on google for a set of keywords that are all in german. If I were to introduce pages in English on the same domain that target those keywords in english, what would the SEO ranking impact be? Would the rank for the german keywords drop? Would it not affect the SEO rank of the website?

My fear is that it might confuse google’s ranking algorithm because the website would no longer be as tightly focused (because it would have two languages)… what would I need to be careful about if I wanted to expand my website to a second language?

I run WP (if that makes a difference)

Does anyone have experience that they can share?

1 Answer 1


Take a look at: https://www.w3schools.com/tags/ref_language_codes.asp

You should be using the lang attributes on your html tag that comply to ISO 639-1.

In WordPress you can achieve this by modifying your theme to add this automatically to the html tag in your templates, defaulting to the option set in your WordPress dashboard (in your case, I'd guess German). You could then override this using some kind of post-meta for posts which are not the global language.

As to the impact on SEO, I can't answer that, but by telling Google what language each of the pages are written in should provide more benefits than penalties.

  • Thank you. Your answer started me on a link odysee that eventually led back to google webmaster (I wanted to smack myself when I realized that I had not checked there before posting). In any case, it seems that a subdomain or at least a dedicated language folder is probably sufficent in my case.
    – rohrl77
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 7:32

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