Google Uses Different Algorithms For Different Languages
Google uses the same search algorithms for bone languages, but there are some cases where the language requires a different algorithm to interpret the queries.
Google search attorney John Mueller stated this in response to a Reddit thread titled: Does Google use the same algorithm for every language?
The thread continues to ask about ranking factors and SEO practices, and how they may differ from language to language.
More specifically, the thread reads:
BERT’s update had something to do with semantics, so it made me wonder if it would be the same in every language. Which then made me think about other classification factors, and how their importance can vary between different languages/cultures. Anyway, I want to ask Anyone with experience with SEO in another language, if you find any differences between the ranking factors?”
Muller does not delve into the aspect of ranking factors, but does address the use of search algorithms in different languages.
Read his full response in the section below.
How Google’s search algorithms differ by language
While many refer to the Google search algorithm as a single entity, it is actually made up of “many, many” algorithms.
Some of these algorithms are used to search all languages, while others are used for individual languages only.
Müller says, for example, that some languages don’t separate words and spaces. This makes it necessary to use a different algorithm than what Google uses for languages that use spaces.
Especially. Search uses lots and lots of algorithms. Some apply to content in all languages, some are specific to individual languages (eg some languages don’t use spaces to separate words – which makes it kinda difficult to search for things if Google assumes all languages are the same Einglish).”
How Google Search understands content in different languages
On the topic of Google search in different languages, it’s worth mentioning a point that was made during the Google Search Central SEO office hours hangout last week.
Mueller was asked how Google determines when one page is similar to another when each page contains content in a different language.
In short, Google I can not Detect when a piece of content in one language is the same or similar to a piece of content written in another language.
Google relies on content publishers to determine the equivalence of various pieces of content when written in different languages.
Mueller explains that this is done via the hreflang HTML property:
“…we basically use hreflang to understand which of these URLs are equivalent in your view. And we’ll exchange them…
… I think it is impossible for us to understand that this specific content is equivalent to another country or another language. Like, a lot of local variations are always possible.”
Knowing that Google cannot determine the equivalence of different language content on its own, it sheds more light on why Google has certain algorithms for certain languages.
Source: Google search center on YouTube
Featured image: YummyBuum/Shutterstock