Is homepage with language choice good or bad for SEO?

Dear forum members,

client insist to have a first page with language choice, after choosing your language you are redirected to the site itself. Well, I’m not a big fan of this practice esthetically. But what about SEO? Additional step to the site influence SEO or not? Please share your experience.
Thank you!

You (or your client) is asking the wrong question. The important point is not what’s good for SEO, but what’s good for your site visitors.

If I’ve understood it correctly, your client is suggesting that the home page only has the choice of language, and no other useful information. For each language, there would be a separate section of the site, presumably with its own introductory page. Is that correct?

If so, I’d vote against that, for two reasons.

First, given that the home page contains no useful information about the product or service on offer, it will not show up in searches, so no-one will ever see it.

More importantly (and as a consequence of the above), visitors are likely to arrive at the site on any of the internal pages, and will therefore not see the choice of languages. In many cases, that won’t matter, because the search engine will direct them to a page that matches the language of their query, but you can’t rely on that happening. If the user lands on a page in the “wrong” language, and sees no obvious way of changing it, they will give up and go elsewhere.

I suggest you skip the idea of using the home page as a sort of language menu. Instead, have a separate introductory page in each of the languages; this will lead to the subsidiary pages in the appropriate language. And on every page of the site, have a set of links that lets the visitor go to the equivalent page in each of the supported languages. The links should be small, but obvious. This will make it much easier for visitors to find the site, and to then find the information they want in their own language.


Hi Soapmarine,

The language choice for a homepage is not bad or best…I can say it is a good…You can have a try and observe the results as the bot engine crawls the data only in binary…As you asked in terms of SEO, it is very tedious to check on the proven results.

Have a safe trial and error…Go ahead


I’d say that only HUGE companies sites (like lenovo etc) have only language selection on their homepage, but as long as it’s a ‘normal’ sized site, I wouldn’t do that

In my humble opinion, I’d say that it’s a bad choice.

  1. As to your specific question (regardless of whether it’s the right question) landing pages that have nothing except an intro or a language selector are never better for SEO than actual content. A lot of the time they’re probably actively worse.

  2. As to the general “why would you do this” - I would fight for a site that is built in the site’s most used language by default, with an easy to access language toggle in the top bar or somewhere - maybe have it remember their language preference via cookies or something, so that it more often than not chooses their language by default after an initial visit.

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If given a choice, any vernacular user would definitely stick and go through your entire website, keeping aside the language related obstructions. It keeps the user engaged throughout rather than flying him away and going for some other website.

Recently faced with a similar situation I decided to install the google translate toolbar on the site:

I haven’t noticed any negative seo effects so far from this

If that works for you, that’s fine. Personally, I think it’s a poor choice, especially for a professional or business site. The toolbar merely gives an automated translation, which is often very poor quality. If you want to give a good impression to your potential customers, you really need a professional translation.


I wouldn’t have a language menu on the home page… when you can install a plugin or have the site coded and add the ability to choose their preferred language at the top of the site above the navigation instead.

Its a good method to adopt because it helps the user to customize the language of site and know more and more about site.