Google: One Part Of Site Can Hurt Entire Quality Of A Site

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On Stumbling upon a question related to poor translation on a site, Google’s John Mueller goes further to explain how the quality of one section of a website affects its ranking. 

The question at hand was specifically about the impact of a poor translation section on the SEO of that website. Mueller gave us a bigger picture of the problem at hand.

See Also: It’s Normal For 20% Of A Website To Not Be Indexed Says John Mueller

quality of a site-
quality of a site-

The question asked was:

“I wonder if a poor translation of a new language version can negatively affect the SEO for (the) domain’s more established main language versions.”

The person who asked the question also provided an example of a rooted French website that has a German language section with poor auto generated translation. He is also well aware that Google discourages poor translation. Therefore, he was furious whether this faulty section is contagious for the whole website or not. 

One Poor Quality Section Can Take Down Whole Website With It

Mueller addressed the concerning issue by saying Google decides the quality of a website on its overall architecture. 

Mueller 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.

one part of site
one part of the site

If they’re just bad translations, or 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.”

So, according to Mueller Google will index the poor translation and so a visible result will generate a poor outcome. 

Red Flags And Site Quality

Mueller then goes on to describe the low-quality features of a site. It’s not one big red flag but different aspects that work together to determine the site’s quality. He explained how low-quality sections of a site work together to send a negative signal to Google in terms of site quality. These signals round up to one deciding factor for Google. 

Mueller said: 

“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.

red flags and site quality
red flags and site quality

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.”

Overview; Overall Quality Of A Website

As Mueller has been asserted every visible section of a website will contribute to its quality i.e. overall quality. So, even if your content is high-quality there might be other factors or red flags leading to low or no indexing of your website-as this is noticeable. 


Therefore, if you want to enhance the quality of a site you must look after all the factors working together. Even a small section like poor translation can hurt an entire site. 

See Also: How Does Keyword-Stuffing Impact Google My Business?

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