0

I've recently develop a website with multiple languages. The main goal was that people living in UK would be able to find the website using google.co.uk (not google.fr) by entering French keywords.

The structure of the website is really basic:

  • index.php
  • about.php
  • FR
    • index.php (French)
    • about.php (French)

URLs are website.co.uk for EN and website.co.uk/fr/ for FR.

Now, whenever I search on google.co.uk using French keywords I always get website's English version. It's almost impossible to find the French version. I'm 100% sure Google indexed all the pages (it's been 2months+) and I've checked Google Webmaster Tools website to see for any errors on robots.txt, etc.

What could be the issue and what am I doing wrong? So far I've tried to use appropriate HTML language tags for French and English separately. Tried to remove tags whatsoever. Did not help.

  • Another consideration is the browser language which is used to return results. If you want a French language result, you should try and change the browser language. Often, this returns different results. – closetnoc Mar 9 '18 at 5:58
  • Thank you. So I did everything you guys suggested here. Lang tags, separate XML maps, fetched them using google webmasters. No errors there - it seemed google indexed everything finely. However no change in search results. It's still show me ENGLISH version when I use "FRENCH" keywords on google. it is so frustrating - I have no idea how to approach this? – Cluendo Mar 21 '18 at 10:27
  • Again. You will need to change the BROWSER language. The search results will match the browser language. – closetnoc Mar 21 '18 at 16:12
  • But I have examples where entering the same French keywords in English google (and English OS + browser) it present French websites which offer services in England for French speaking people. How they do that? – Cluendo Mar 21 '18 at 17:59
1

Because your domain is .co.uk, it will rankly highly on Google.co.uk for users in the UK. People in the UK generally speak English and so your English pages naturally rank much higher overall.

Have you tried using google.fr and seeing if your French pages rank there for people in France?

If you are trying to target French speaking people in the UK the correct lang tags should be:

<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/fr/index.php" hreflang="fr-gb" />

And I think that tag should be placed on both your example.com/index.php and example.com/fr/index.php

  • Thank you for your answer - I complete forgot about double "fr-gb" lang tag. I was using single tags for each language. I will try to implement this and see how that will change. – Cluendo Mar 8 '18 at 15:59
  • Thank you. So I did everything you guys suggested here. Lang tags, separate XML maps, fetched them using google webmasters. No errors there - it seemed google indexed everything finely. However no change in search results. It's still show me ENGLISH version when I use "FRENCH" keywords on google. it is so frustrating - I have no idea how to approach this? – Cluendo Mar 21 '18 at 10:27
0

It's normal to rank first with a local domain. Just make sure you have implemented the best practices for multilingual sites:

  1. Implement hreflang tag
  2. Create a XML sitemap for each language (and submit to Google Search Console)
  3. Use correct (one to one) internal linking
  4. Get local links for each domain (to gain popularity)
  • Thank you for the answer. Would you be able to elaborate more specifically about number 3 and 4 ? Thanks! – Cluendo Mar 8 '18 at 16:00
  • 3 - If you are in example.co.uk/pets and click the french version, you should go to example.co.uk/fr/pets 4 - It would be useful to get links from french sites to example.co.uk/fr – Emirodgar Mar 8 '18 at 16:04
  • Thank you. So I did everything you guys suggested here. Lang tags, separate XML maps, fetched them using google webmasters. No errors there - it seemed google indexed everything finely. However no change in search results. It's still show me ENGLISH version when I use "FRENCH" keywords on google. it is so frustrating - I have no idea how to approach this? – Cluendo Mar 21 '18 at 10:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.