I am relatively new to Shopify, so maybe there is something I am not getting with the backend/crawlability but here goes. In my years of doing web copy and being conscious of on-page SEO, I haven't ever seen anything like this. I am a copywriter and was brought on to redo/optimize the content for a site that whose original content was in French and that was using a plug-in to translate it to English. The site has 400+ pages of completely new English content, URLs, alt text and a new theme all brought online at the same time.

Key points from before the change:

  • Site content written in French translated to English by plug-in
  • URLs in French
  • Item titles not optimized
  • Duplicate content everywhere (all products in a series had boilerplate content that was the same for every product)
  • NO alt text in any image  

Key points after the change:

  • Site content now natively in English
  • URLs in English
  • Optimized item titles
  • All content is unique for every page
  • Optimized alt text provided for all images  

Here's the kicker: There has been LITTLE TO NO POSITIVE CHANGE for English keyword rankings in Google after the change. They haven't gotten worse, but they haven't gotten perceptively better, either. How is this possible? 

  • 1
    What's the time period? Have all the new English URLs been indexed? – MrWhite Sep 27 at 21:59
  • I wouldn't expect any difference in rankings by natively translating instead of using plugin. Search engines wouldn't have any clue that translation was native vs a plugin. But MrWhite's question re time is important as Google can takes several weeks for changes to rank. – Trebor Sep 28 at 14:03
  • @MrWhite yes it is indexed. I wish it was that. – WmW Sep 28 at 22:25
  • @Trebor I guess that makes sense, except for the fact that the translations were bad and didn't really have any kw phrases that matched anything worthwhile or informative. The main problem was that the content on the pages of the 400+ products was useless. Those products break down into roughly 30 categories. The only content on the product pages was a flowery description of the category in general, as well as NO alt text ever on any image. Nothing indicated any info about the product other than the item name and the picture. Now all that's improved, optimized and unique, yet no change. – WmW Sep 28 at 22:31

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