When thinking about how Google perceives multilingual websites, we first need to know that “region” and “language” are different .
In Japan, Japan = Japanese, but English is spoken in the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other countries. At this time, “English” is the language, and the country name such as “America” is usually “region”.
According to Wikipedia ‘s “List of countries that use English as their official language “, as of 2014, 58 countries and 21 regions have English as their official language.
Region and language designation
Google will automatically determine the language from the languages on the page.
In the case of Japanese and other languages, there are no similar elements, so I think that Japanese is accurately recognized as “Japanese”. At the same time, even if you have a Japanese site and an English site in one domain, it is considered that there is no mistake in judging that it is an English site and a Japanese site.
However, if you have separate sites in British English and American English, or if you have multiple websites that have different currency units even in the same English, it is better to specify the language so that you can tell Google more reliably. Also, if you don’t write hreflang, you can’t tell Google the structure that “this page and this page are the same content but different languages”.
rel = ”alternate” hreflang to specify region and language
hreflang allows you to specify the language and region.
de: German content, no region specified
en-GB: English content for UK users
de-ES: German content for Spanish users
ccTLD is associated with one particular country
There is ccTLD as a judgment material for regional targeting. ccTLD tells Google which country your website is for.
|ccTLD||country code top-level domain: country code top-level domain||Domains associated with one specific country, such as jp for Japan, de for Germany, and cn for China.|
|gTLD||generic top-level domains: Generic top-level domains||Domains that are not associated with a particular country, such as .com, .net, .org, .museum. If you want to specify a region, you can specify the target region from the Serach Console.|
You can specify the target region in the Search Console
International targeting reports allow you to monitor hreflang tags and set regional targets.
· Language: Monitor site hreflang tag usage and errors
-[Country]: Set the target country of the entire site as the site if necessary.
The following is an international targeting report when using the top level domain https: //www…co.jp including the country code of Japan and building an English site in the subdirectory /en/.
This site doesn’t specify the hreflang tag, so nothing is displayed on the Language tab.
This is the screen of the [Country] tab. Because it is a domain that contains a country code, it is already associated with a particular region (in this case, Japan). If you are using a domain that contains a country code, you cannot specify a specific region.
This is another site. If you are building an English site in the subdirectory / en / with a domain that does not include the country code (such as net). In this case, you can specify a specific country on the Country tab.
Other factors that Google determines the region
The location of the server (IP address of the server), the address and phone number on the page, and Google My Business information are also factors in determining the target user.