In Google’s Office-hours Hangout recorded on 31 December 2021, Google’s John Mueller discussed how one section’s site quality can affect the whole website and the subsequent rankings and went to shed some light on how exactly Google assesses a site’s quality. It was asked by one of the viewers whether an issue such as poor translation on a page can lead to the whole website being negatively viewed by Google, thereby affecting its SEO and rankings in a negative way. To which, John admitted that poor translation does play a part in how Google views that page and also the rest of the 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.”
So if a particular page isn’t being indexed at all or if the whole site seems to be negatively impacted in terms of SEO and rankings, you might want to put it all under the microscope and look of issues that may be playing a role in pulling your website down. And this is exactly where On-page audit comes into play and reveal glaring issues which might otherwise go unnoticed. Do watch John Mueller’s full response to question at the 06:53 minute mark and may be also stick around for the rest of the discussion for some other valuable insights.
Source: Search Engine Journal