Multisite vs Google vs slugs

In an article titled "WordPress Multisite and SEO: All Your Questions Answered", rachel McCollin said that:    
<<if you’re using subdirectories, then Google will do its best to treat them as separate sites if the content makes it clear that that’s the case.>>

Ok.    
But how does Google evaluate the contents to decide unity or separation?

In our case, we setup a multisite of four subsites - each subsite dedicated to one language.

One is English, the rest three are languages currently not supported by Google.

Yet,
Yet, I recall reading a while ago, (on Google's note titled localization? or something) that it is advisable to write urls in English if and when language of the content is not supported by Google.

Therefore, the entire network is using English on post slugs and taxonomy slugs, even if the text of each subsite is different.

Does that confuse Google from understanding the sites as different or any other way?

Thanks in advance.

P.S. - the front/main subsite which serves as index page and set to non-index]

  • Nithin

    Hi Daniel Berhane,

    Hope you are doing good today. :slight_smile:

    But how does Google evaluate the contents to decide unity or separation?

    I'm not able to find any such docs related to Google on how Google Evaluates these content, I suppose this is more of an observation made by the author regarding how sub directory, and sub domain works.

    Therefore, the entire network is using English on post slugs and taxonomy slugs, even if the text of each subsite is different.

    Does that confuse Google from understanding the sites as different or any other way?

    What you have mentioned is more of a workaround since Google doesn't recognize it, are the content for all these 4 subsites similar, or are they separate websites? You can find the following docs helpful if it's a multilingual website:
    https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/182192

    I hope this helps, please advise if I'm missing out anything, so that we could guide you better. Have a nice day. :slight_smile:

    Kind Regards,
    Nithin

  • Daniel Berhane

    Thanks for the response.

    1/The Google support link is illuminating. But doesn't directly (straightforwardly) address our case.

    2/Let me answer your questions:

    -> On our website, there are four subsites.
    -> Each subsite uses a different language: One subsite is English, the other three subsites are in three Ethiopian languages. (Those languages are not "supported" by Google.)

    -> The main site is just automatic index/aggregation of all posts on the entire (For eg: WPMU's plugin does that)

    -> All,subsites discuss regional politics and economy. However, they are not translation of each other.

    It is not a work around. It more or less follows the basic logic of WordPress.com but with very elementary/basic set up. No work around....yet.

  • Nithin

    Hi Daniel Berhane,

    -> On our website, there are four subsites.
    -> Each subsite uses a different language: One subsite is English, the other three subsites are in three Ethiopian languages. (Those languages are not "supported" by Google.)

    -> The main site is just automatic index/aggregation of all posts on the entire (For eg: WPMU's plugin does that)

    -> All,subsites discuss regional politics and economy. However, they are not translation of each other.

    Thanks for explaining further, and these Ethiopian subsites has slugs in English? Google in general recommends having shorter slug if the titles are long, ie 4-5 words as slug in your permalink. But it doesn't specify about the effects of SEO on different languages with post title affects the ranking. I did give a search regarding this, but I'm afraid I'm not able to find any specific answer that would help your use case. Maybe you could check in the Google Forums for more specific answers:
    https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/webmasters

    Kind Regards,
    Nithin

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