HS files/URL - challenge with Swedish letters & SEO

SOLVE
AxelS
Contributor

Hi,
We are a Swedish company and our entire web is therefore obviously in Swedish. We are trying to follow certain steps in regard to the Swedish alphapet, which has 3 unique letters "Å,Ä,Ö". When creating landingpages we exclude these letters in order to enhance SEO. And when uploading content to HS files we have a some steps with the same goal. The reason for this is that the letters generates som pretty weird replacement characters/code.

Our steps include

1) using lower case letters
2) using hyphen sign intead of space
3) Trying to stick to max 3 keywords

4) replace Swedish letters with (å-a) (ä-a) (ö-o)

So our swedish letters Å Ä Ö otherwise generates a lot of signs in the url. Similar with the usages of space instead of hyphen, where it generates URLs with %20 instead of the actual space. 
å = %C3%A5
ä = %CC%88
ö = %C3%B6

Now to my question(s): Is these replacements like "%20" an issue regaring SEO, and is therefore, our swedish letters an issue since they are generating similar charachters in URL?

We know that google handles the Swedish letters without any problems in content ant metatag, but since Hubspot is replacing them with characters in URL it may be that we need to keep avoiding them in URLs and HS files?

Thanks for any thoughts on this! 

1 Accepted solution

Accepted Solutions
breichenbach
Solution
HubSpot Product Team

Hey @AxelS

 

In this case, those extra characters aren't really a concern. They may not look pretty and aren't exactly reader-friendly, but from an SEO standpoint, they're not going to be damaging your ability to rank in search engines. 

 

These characters are a byproduct of what is known as Unicode UTF-8 Encoding. This type of coding is meant to ensure that URLs work across languages and programs by creating a common language for special characters. This article on Search Engine Land covers this issue pretty well. 

 

Because Unicode is built upon a foundation of Latinate characters, it often requires non-Latinate letters to be encoded. Swedish, Finnish, German, Estonian, Hungarian, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Arabic, and dozens of other languages usually end up having some URL encoding happening. For example, to quote directly from one of Google's own documents about creating map-compatible URLs, they outline, "For example, 上海+中國 in UTF-8 would be URL-encoded as %E4%B8%8A%E6%B5%B7%2B%E4%B8%AD%E5%9C%8B"

 

Additionally, in Google's Search Console documentation here in the section on language-specific URLs, they advise using UTF-8 encoding whenever possible. While this is included in a doc for multi-language websites, it's still telling that they include the statement "be sure to use UTF-8 encoding in the URL (in fact, we recommend using UTF-8 wherever possible)." 

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4 Replies 4
JessicaH
HubSpot Alumni

Hi @AxelS,

 

Thanks for reaching out.

I'm going to tag in some of our Swedish members to see if they have thoughts on this.

 

Hi @AnnicaThorber @MichaelC do you have any thoughts this?

 

Thanks!

Jess

 

 


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0 Upvotes
MichaelC
Guide | Partner

Well I agree. Having a correct charachter encoding in Landing pages is a must in order to get the SEO to work. Wrong character encoding as above would be bad for SEO. I am just about to start using the Landing Pages more so I will very soon stumble on the same problem - so its good it was lifted early on - and it should be a quickfix to get å ä ö / Å Ä Ö 



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breichenbach
Solution
HubSpot Product Team

Hey @AxelS

 

In this case, those extra characters aren't really a concern. They may not look pretty and aren't exactly reader-friendly, but from an SEO standpoint, they're not going to be damaging your ability to rank in search engines. 

 

These characters are a byproduct of what is known as Unicode UTF-8 Encoding. This type of coding is meant to ensure that URLs work across languages and programs by creating a common language for special characters. This article on Search Engine Land covers this issue pretty well. 

 

Because Unicode is built upon a foundation of Latinate characters, it often requires non-Latinate letters to be encoded. Swedish, Finnish, German, Estonian, Hungarian, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Arabic, and dozens of other languages usually end up having some URL encoding happening. For example, to quote directly from one of Google's own documents about creating map-compatible URLs, they outline, "For example, 上海+中國 in UTF-8 would be URL-encoded as %E4%B8%8A%E6%B5%B7%2B%E4%B8%AD%E5%9C%8B"

 

Additionally, in Google's Search Console documentation here in the section on language-specific URLs, they advise using UTF-8 encoding whenever possible. While this is included in a doc for multi-language websites, it's still telling that they include the statement "be sure to use UTF-8 encoding in the URL (in fact, we recommend using UTF-8 wherever possible)." 

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AxelS
Contributor

Thank you for your answer, very thorough! The links was helpful aswell.

0 Upvotes