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I have a question. Related topics would be: duplicate content, different languages, maybe hreflang.

I'm located in Belgium. Belgium is multi-lingual. I have a company that offers preparation for a specific test. This preparation is done over our website.

I'm very lucky to have secured the exact name of the test as domain names, in German and also in French. I bought these domains when the test (it's new) was announced.

Now, I already launched the German version of the website yesterday. Let's call it "name-of-the-test-in-german.be".

I wrote a summary about the test of about 1000 words and it's already ranking high in search results. (After only a day)

Now, I want to launch the French version of the website. I use WordPress and already looked into plugins that provide the ability to have a multilingual website, but as far as I know (please correct me If I'm wrong), they are meant to provide multiple languages on the same domain / subdomains and not as in my case on completely different domains like:

name-of-the-test-in-german.be

name-of-the-test-in-french.be

As I really would like to use the advantage that I got the exact name as domains in both languages, I think it would be the best way to create another page in French. (If you know of any better way please let me know).

But here comes the point, I'm quite afraid of Google flagging one of the sites as duplicate content. Is there anything I can do to prevent that?

Can the hreflang tag help me?

I already know that I shouldn't just translate the content because that will definitely get marked as duplicate content, but how much should I change it? Can I copy the whole German page and just change the texts? Do I have to change everything? Will it still get flagged as duplicate content when it has exactly the same structure? As you maybe can see I'm quite confused.

2 Answers 2

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I found the answer and thought it could maybe be helpful to someone else:

Translated content is not classified as duplicate content by Google. But what needs to be made sure is: Don't use auto translate, manually translate it or use a translate service on a freelancing website for a few bucks.

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Wordpress plugins that facilitate multi-languages on multi-sites: Plugins that allow for multilingual websites, are typically used for subdomains or sub-directories in the same domain, but for separate domains.

Whether Google will flag duplicate content:
If you just translate the text you will most likely be penalized. To prevent this you can change the wording, tone, and sentence structure to make it unique.

Regarding the hreflang tag:
By using this tag, you are telling Google that the content on both websites is intended for different audiences and is not duplicate content.

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