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If I implement multilingual access to the resource through the parameter:

1) https://example.com/en/article-1

2) https://example.com/article-1?l=en

So, does Google index both of them as a single URL or different ones?

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No. google considers it as two different urls. irrespective of the content and language.

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  • While I believe this is correct, such a short answer is not high quality. Please edit to add more. For example, please explain how you know this. Can you link to references? – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 27 '19 at 11:09
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URLs which only differ by a language parameter are considered as separate URLs.

Example case study: Here's a link to the Google Webmasters support page covering "Managing multi-regional and multilingual sites".

This page is in multiple languages, and all the pages(with the same content in different languages) have a language attribute at the end of their URLs(?hl=en, ?hl=fr etc.). These pages don't refer to the English page as their canonical version.

This means Google(the search Engine) has indexed them as different pages and Google(the company) wants them as different pages since they have not implemented canonical tags.

Here's the English version and here's the French Version. Inspect both the pages and you can search(ctrl/command +f) for "canonical".

If you change your browser language to french and search "Gérer les sites multirégionaux et multilingues" and SERP will display the URL with the french language parameter.

However, if you implement different URLs for different languages, it is recommended to use hreflang annotations to help google search display the correct language version of the page(based on the searcher's browser settings and location parameters).

Learn more about hreflang and its implementation here.

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  • This doesn't answer the question. They know that Google recommend different URLs. They want to know whether the language parameter makes the URL different. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 27 '19 at 11:10
  • @StephenOstermiller Thanks for the heads up. I've edited the answer to focus more on answering the question and provided an example for the same. Let me know if there's something else lacking. If the answer is satisfactory, I would be grateful if you would reconsider your downvote. – Anuvesh Nov 27 '19 at 11:42
  • Much better, thanks. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 27 '19 at 12:13

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