Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Ultimate SEO Challenge : SEO for Indian Languages - Hindi, Marathi in Devnagri and other scripts

Seo and indexing for Marathi, Hindi sites is one of the biggest challenges that both site owners as well as Search engines will have to figure out as more and more Native language sites make their entry on the Indian Internet landscape.

As India experiences its Internet and ecommerce boom, native language content is going to play a huge role in reaching to the grassroots.

And Search Engines like Google will be the obvious gateway for all this new content to reach users besides the impact that social media will have.

SEO for native languages in non latin scripts is definitely possible and major search engines are already indexing this content without any problem.

The unique problem is India is that though al.most everyone will read content in Indian languages, a dismally low percentage of users types in these languages while searching..

What users type while searching is either in plain english or the phonetic equivalent of their native language in a latin script like english.

We don't know yet if google knows this and takes care of it on their end. We haven't found anything concrete yet to suggest this. But it definitely would be awesome if they did...

While studying this unique problem, we have come up with several possible solutions that could do the trick.. but none are without their flaws.

This is a new ground and things are still in flux. We will need to evolve at a fast pace as everthing else does with seo and techlology in general.

The Possible Solutions

Transliterated Content summary
Provide phonetically transliterated content against actual native language content so that what search engines will index.

Or automatically provide a full transliterated version of the original content.

Hiding this from end users would be ideal but google is known to penalise such actions. So hiding would be a risk.. but showing to end users aslo wouldn't be a good idea.. so take your pick..

Providing Language tags

Using language tagging to let search engines know what language your site is using. This is a general muntilingual seo point though... not specifically significant in the Indian context.. but useful and required none the less..