Are Backlinks from Foreign Language Websites Valuable for SEO in 2024

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By Tomislav

Key Takeaways

SEO Impact: Foreign language backlinks from reputable sites boost SEO, authority, and brand reach, without differing in value from English-language backlinks.
Guidelines and Risks: Follow SEO principles; excessive foreign link building may trigger scrutiny.
Obstacles: Assessing site quality and establishing communication are harder across languages. Cultural sensitivity is crucial.
Link Building Tactics: Utilize unlinked mentions, broken link building, and quality guest posting. Adapt methods to target language and culture.
Success Strategies: Employ local experts, translate top content, use language tools, and continuously refine your approach for foreign markets.

The SEO Value of Backlinks from Non-English Websites

Backlinks from foreign language websites are valuable for SEO if they’re from relevant and trustworthy domains.

There’s no inherent difference in how search algorithms treat domains based on language.

All SEO principles apply, regardless of the language.

Ultimately, the value of foreign language backlinks depends on your goals, audience, and resources.

Benefits of Backlinks from Foreign Language Sites

The relevance and trustworthiness of the foreign site are key to the backlink’s benefits. If Google trusts it and it’s relevant to your site, you’ll enjoy:

Increased Authority: A Dofollow backlink passes on link equity, boosting your domain authority and positively affecting your ranking internationally and locally.

Branding: Links from different language domains broaden your brand’s global reach and enhance its power.

Diversification of Backlink Profile: A natural profile includes various backlink types, such as those from foreign language sites.

Foreign Language Link Building

Foreign language link building is seeking backlink opportunities on websites in foreign languages.

It’s crucial to note that any active link building is against Google’s guidance and carries risks.

However, if you choose to pursue foreign language links, proceed with caution.

Building too many foreign language backlinks can skew your backlink profile and raise suspicions.

Challenges of Foreign Language Link Building

Foreign language link building presents unique challenges for effective use of time and resources.

Content and Website Quality Assessment

Assessing a domain’s authority and content quality is harder when a language barrier exists.

With AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Gemini, analyzing foreign language content is easier but still tedious.

Identifying spam flags in a foreign domain’s backlink profile is tricky and often impractical.

This task is doable, but requires more time.

Outreach Communication

Connecting with foreign website owners requires clear and culturally appropriate communication.

Misunderstandings can obstruct your link-building efforts.

Finding the right contact for backlinks on a foreign site, especially larger ones, can be challenging.

Establishing trust with foreign website owners demands extra effort due to language and cultural differences.

Cultural Sensitivity

Be aware of cultural values and beliefs that might affect content, communication, and expectations.

What’s humorous in one culture may be offensive in another.

Avoid idioms or jokes that may not translate well.

Avoid making assumptions based on your own cultural perspective.

Incorporate subtle references to show effort in understanding the culture.

Best Link Building Methods for Getting Backlinks from Foreign Language Sites

Even though any link building method effective on English sites can be used for foreign language sites, some methods are particularly advantageous.

Turning Unlinked Mentions into Links

This approach is an easy win in any language. If a site mentioned you, they’re likely to convert that mention into a backlink if you politely ask.

Broken Link Building

Broken link building involves identifying broken links on relevant sites and suggesting your content as a replacement.

This method remains viable across languages, especially if your site is highly authoritative in your niche.

Linking to authoritative sources offers benefits to the referring domain, providing an incentive for site owners.

Guest Posting with a Caveat

Guest posting is fundamental to link building, but it’s crucial to produce quality content in the website’s language.

If the site is an authoritative source, they will have high content quality standards.

For success, you’ll likely need a local writer native to the target language to craft articles for your outreach.

Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr offer a wealth of skilled writers in nearly every language.

Foreign Language Link Building Tips

Depending on your commitment to tapping into different markets and cultures for backlinks, there are various strategies to enhance authenticity and drive better results.

  • Hire Local Talent – Hiring freelancers or local SEO agencies might be more expensive, but their first-hand insights and connections can yield significantly better results, effectively making the investment worth it.
  • Localize Existing Content – Translating your high-performing content into other languages can expand your audience and attract potential linking partners.
  • Invest in Language Tools – If opting out of local talent, using translation tools and services is crucial to ensure the accuracy and cultural appropriateness of your content and communication.
  • Measure and Adapt – Entering new markets necessitates wearing your analytical hat, constantly re-evaluating everything from outreach emails to your overall link building strategy.