One Section Can Negatively Affect the Whole Site

2 min read

During a Google Office-hours Hangout session recorded on December 31, 2021, John Mueller from Google delved into how the quality of one section within a website can have a broader impact on the entire site and its subsequent rankings. He also highlighted Google’s criteria for evaluating a website’s overall quality. During the discussion, a viewer inquired whether issues like poor translation on a single page could result in Google forming a negative perception of the entire website, adversely affecting its SEO and rankings. In response, John acknowledged that poor translation contributes to how Google assesses the specific page and the overall website.Yes, one section can impact the whole website in a negative way!

Here’s what John said.

“I guess the short answer is yes. The main issue is less about these being translated versions of the content, but more that for some things, we look at the quality of the site overall. And when we look at the quality of the site overall, if you have significant portions that are lower quality it doesn’t matter for us like why they would be lower quality.

If they’re just bad translations, of if they’re terrible content or whatever. But if we see that there are significant parts that are lower quality then we might think overall this website is not so fantastic as we thought. And that can have effects in different places across the website.

So in short, I guess if you have a very low quality translation that’s also indexed and that’s also very visible in search, then that can definitely pull down the good quality translation as well or the good quality original content that you also have.”

Site quality a composite of a lot of factors

John went to share that Google takes a lot of little factors into account while assessing a website’s quality (both high and low) and that it isn’t necessarily about isolating giant red flags. John added.

“So at least the way that I understand it, it’s more a matter of us trying to understand the quality of the website overall. And that’s usually not something where they’re individual things that we could just point at and say like, oh, if you have five misspellings on a page, that’s a sign of low quality.

These things happen individually. And all of these factors I think individually are hard to say that they’re a sign of something being low quality but rather we have to take everything together and then figure out what the mix is together.

And that’s also a reason why sometimes when you significantly improve the quality of a website overall or when things get significantly worse, it just takes a lot of time for our systems to figure out like oh, overall the view of this website is now better or worse.

So from that point of view, it’s not that we have anything specific that we could point at.”

Suppose a specific webpage needs to be indexed, or your entire site suffers from SEO and ranking issues. In that case, it’s essential to thoroughly examine any factors contributing to the decline in your website’s performance. This is where an on-page audit becomes invaluable, as it can uncover significant issues that remain unnoticed. Watch John Mueller’s complete response to this question starting at the 06:53 minute mark, and consider staying tuned for additional valuable insights in the rest of the discussion.

Source: Search Engine Journal