This article is guest posted by Lior.
The Web is becoming an increasingly multilingual place. Though English is still the top language on the Web, Chinese and Spanish now hold a plurality and both are growing much more rapidly.
Already the majority of Internet users don’t speak English, at least not as their primary language but very few English-speaking sites reach out to this audience, essentially ignoring over half of the Web’s users.
Many feel this is unnecessary because their site is only available in English. However, more and more people are multilingual themselves and, even if they aren’t, automated translation tools such as Google Translate make it easy enough to read pages not in one’s native language.
However, promoting across languages means making an SEO effort across multiple languages and that, in turn, means link-building across multiple languages.
Unfortunately, link-building across multiple languages is no simple task. We discovered it quite quickly at 123 Neon Signs. But for those who want to try, here are a few simple tips to help you get started.
1. Hire a Native Speaker
Native speakers can be hired for translation and other services increasingly cheaply online, making them worthwhile both for translating your existing content and for leaving comments, submitting your site to directories and other link-building activities.
Simply put, native speakers simply do far better translation than automated systems and work better than doing link-building in your native language.
2. Be Sensitive of Cultural Issues
Overcoming a language barrier is more than just changing words, it is important to note that humor, idioms and other elements of language may not translate well either. A joke that might be hilarious in your country could be outright offensive in another.
You have to keep in mind cultural issues and boundaries when you’re link-building across languages or you may find yourself actually hurting your site’s reputation.
3. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
As with most link-building, it’s crucial to focus on quality of inbound links, not quantity. A small handful of high-quality, prominent links will matter far more than a large number of spammy, out of the way links.
This is especially true with link-building as you need to spend time to craft and hone every link you send out as producing a large number of shoddy links is a sure-fire way to create garbage content that no one wants.
4. Translate Your Content
If possible be sure to translate your content and post it on another page. Google doesn’t penalize duplicate content if it is in another language so there is no fear of a duplicate content penalty. Translated content makes it a great deal easier to access for those you’re targeting and encourages them to link back to you own their own.
5. When in Doubt, Start with Directories
Finally, just as with link-building in your native language, when you don’t know where to begin, start with directories and sites that openly accept submissions. They are easy to submit to, even if you want to do it on your own, and can provide a great deal of SEO benefit right out the gate.
it may not be all you need to do, but it is a solid first step.
In the end, there’s no real magic to multilingual link-building, the principles work very much the same as ordinary link-building but come with a new series of pitfalls both through the language barrier itself and through cultural differences.
However, if you take the time to get things right and have good people helping you, these are easy waters to navigate. It just requires a little extra time and effort to do it well.
This was a post by Lior who works for 123 neon signs and also is a marketing consultant for an MBA Abroad school from Israel.