Commonly known as one of the most complex areas of technical SEO, hreflang tags are used to inform search engines of different country and language versions of a site. There are a lot of complex factors to consider to ensure the correct implementation of these tags and our Hangout Notes cover many real-world scenarios and Google’s recommended course of action.

Hreflang Tags Without a Reciprocal Will Be Ignored

December 1, 2015 Source

Hreflang tags which are not reciprocated will be ignored, because Google assume it’s incorrect.

Hreflanged Pages in the Same Language Don’t Need to Be Duplicates

April 24, 2015 Source

If you connect pages together with hreflang which are in the same language e.g. UK/US/Australia, they don’t need to be duplicates. They are allowed quite a lot of variation as if they were different languages.

Hreflang Require Reciprocal Links

March 27, 2015 Source

Hreflang works at a page level. If any pages don’t have recriprocal hreflang tags, they’ll be ignored, but it won’t affect any other pages with the correct configuration

A Single Page Can Serve Multiple Hreflang Combinations

December 2, 2014 Source

When setting international targeting with an hreflang tag, you can add multiple hreflangs to the same page. So a single page could have both an en-us, en-uk and x-default hreflang values.

Unwanted Sitelinks Pages Can Be Nonidexed

October 24, 2014 Source

Sitelinks which do not disappear after being demoted, can be removed by adding a noindex. If the Sitelinks are showing incorrect international pages, hreflang tags can be used to identify the preferred version.

Hreflang URLs Should Always Be Canonical URLs

October 10, 2014 Source

Don’t include any URLs that redirect, are non-indexable, canonicalised, otherwise they might be ignored.

Hreflang Should Canonicalise to Preferred HTTP/HTTPS Variation

September 22, 2014 Source

When you have multiple language sites with hreflang, and you have http and https versions of the sites, you don’t need to worry about the hreflang for the non-canonical version. So if you canonicalise from http to https, then you don’t need any hreflang on the http.

Related Topics

Geotargeting Language Local Search Internationalization