I have problems to understand why my website isn't ranked correctly. I have 2 domains which open the site in 2 different languages:

DE: https://ausgaben-rechner.de/
EN: https://expense-calculator.com/

The EN domain gets ranked correctly, but the DE domain doesn't get indexed.

In Google Search Console they say:

Duplicate - not user-defined as canonical

But how is this possible? It's total different content. The one is in English, the other in German. What exactly is wrong with my tags? I setted already the hreflang tags.


Your German site isn't 100% translated. It has an English footer, site notice, and privacy policy. If all of those were translated, I would bet that Googlebot wouldn't see your site as duplicate anymore.

Your home page has 13 words that are translated and 20 words that are not. Given that ratio, you might understand how Google wouldn't see your German site as German enough not to be duplicate.

I realize that your prominent and useful content is translated, but Googlebot doesn't always correctly identify the most useful parts of the page and it sometimes weights the boilerplate too much.

  • Oh thank you for the fast and usefull reply! I got a short seo text.. But its bad for UX to display it. So can i place it in a pre-rendered dialog box? its in the html code available, but invisible before clicking on a button. Or is this bad for SEO?
    – Budi
    Oct 23 '18 at 13:34
  • If you don't display it in the page without a click it is unlikely to change your SEO. It shouldn't hurt, but it won't help either. Rather than focus on that, I would recommend getting all the English words on the page translated. Oct 23 '18 at 13:41
  • 2
    All text things are translated now. Search console error Duplicate - not user-defined as canonical is gone now. Letz wait and hope that it get correctly indexed now. Any improovement ideas?
    – Budi
    Oct 24 '18 at 20:49
  • That was faster for Google to resolve the error after you made changes than I expected. Oct 24 '18 at 20:56
  • Thanks it worked. allready new indexed. now in 2 languages available on google :)
    – Budi
    Oct 24 '18 at 21:14

Your German page is also saying the language is English:

<html lang="en">

Add a self referring canonical to each version.

on the .de page above the hreflang in the add:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://ausgaben-rechner.de/" />

on the .com page above the hreflang in the add:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://expense-calculator.com/" />

Google does see 2 language versions but doesnt know which one is the original so it auto-picks one. You have to declare that both versions are originals and have alternative version.

  • Thanks alot! i will try that later and request a reIndexing.
    – Budi
    Oct 23 '18 at 13:40
  • Make sure all your pages have a self-referring canonical. To re-index your page just re-submit the sitemap.
    – John Could
    Oct 23 '18 at 13:41
  • 2
    If Google thinks the pages are duplicate, canonical tags won't help. Google just ignores canonical tags when it thinks they are wrong. Not that putting the canonical tags on is wrong or will hurt in any way, I just don't expect it to solve this problem. Oct 23 '18 at 13:41
  • @StephenOstermiller Google thinks the pages are duplicate because there is no canonical link in the first place if user doesn't declare a original version Google will do. You might be right but i had the same case with one of my clients.
    – John Could
    Oct 23 '18 at 13:43

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