Issues with hreflang values

Is your goal to grow your brand worldwide? Your current SEO strategies could be doing well domestically, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same success on an international scale. You need to employ the correct hreflang tags to create the best possible user interface for multilingual and multinational audiences.

Hreflang tags explained

Hreflang is a straightforward HTML attribute, and the principle behind the hreflang element itself is also relatively simple to understand. However, correctly applying hreflang tags on your website is an entirely different issue. A minor mistake can cost you a significant amount of money. Even the most experienced SEOs and webmasters still have a lot of work to do in order to perfect their international SEO tactics. 

The good news for business owners and webmasters alike is evisio can help you look out for the most common hreflang faults and errors. That way you can avoid the issues that typically occur when integrating hreflang tags on a website that supports many languages. Let’s take a look at some of those common hreflang errors that evisio can catch. 

Common hreflang errors that need correcting

If you’re using hreflang tags, you might be wondering right now if your website is affected by errors. Check out the most common Hreflang issues below along with solutions for fixing the problem.

Hreflang Error #1 – Missing return links

As reported by Google, one of the most typical problems with hreflang tags is a lack of proper return links. The hreflang tags will be disregarded if the two pages do not link to one another. Hreflang annotations on pages may be misinterpreted if this is not the case with all of them. 

Hreflang Error #2 – Incorrect canonical tags

You need to be careful when utilizing hreflang tags and canonical tags on your site because they can give search engines conflicting signals. Because of their similarities in purpose, hreflang and canonical tags are often confused for one another. Using both will confuse search engine crawlers’ algorithms and cause mistakes in your code. 

This common mistake happens when hreflang annotations on URLs go back to a URL that isn’t the canonical URL for that page. Whether it’s a duplicate piece of content or a canonical duplicate of another URL, a non-canonical URL is a bad idea.

Hreflang Error #3 – Wrong country/language codes

In order to avoid an HTML Lang Attribute error, you must meet specific conditions before the search engine accepts it. 

Those conditions include:

  • Language codes must be in ISO 639-1 format.
  • A valid ISO 3166-1 code for the region or country is required.
  • Hyphens should separate language and country/region identifiers.

HTML Lang that doesn’t adhere to these standards will prevent search engines from properly indexing and ranking overseas sites.

Hreflang Error #4 – Contradiction between hreflang and HTML language markup declarations

Users may receive an inappropriate result if the wrong page is returned in a search using a specific language and region. This happens because an error has been made in either the hreflang annotation, the HTML lang, or both and their values do not coincide. 

Either the HTML lang element or the hreflang annotation on the reported pages should be updated with the appropriate language code. To do this you may have to manually examine the page’s content to determine which one is right.

Key Takeaways

Websites serving multiple regions or having multiple language versions within a single region can benefit from using hreflang properties. But they have to be used correctly. 

When you provide search engines with links to other pages, it changes how your site is ranked. The best results from the hreflang attribute can be achieved through careful monitoring and resolution of hreflang conflicts in the source code of resource pages.

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