Hreflang annotation is such a thing that any global SEO strategy should rely on as it helps target an international audience more precisely and at a fast pace.
The main purpose of hreflang annotations is to target different audiences of different regions by making cross-reference between web pages that are similar in content. It is obvious for a website to show the right content to the right user. But how do you do it? Hreflang ensures to show the right page to a user when he searches for content on Google.
For example, if the Malta users search for content on google.com.mt, hreflang ensure to find the right page targetting the people of Malta. On the other hand, another user from Canada is searching the same content on google.ca and Google would find the page targetting Canadian. In short, this is how the hreflang works to attract the international audience.
So you can easily understand the value of hreflang and how does it work to attract more global audience. If you ever face any problem with hreflang for your website connect to the Web Development Malta to get the best solution for your website.
In this article, we are going to discuss six necessary methods following which you can avoid the
Step 1: Fixing Return Tag Error
To understand this thing we are making it easier by giving an example. When using hreflang, if a page A links to page B, the vice-versa should be done. All the pages for a specific content must have this return link.
It is important that every single line of the hreflang code of a page has the annotation code similar to its reference page. The best way to get rid of this issue is to maintain the same or consistent code across all pages.
There may be many actions that search engines take for an absence of these return links. Such situations can lead to the ignorance and misinterpretation of the given link that has hreflang annotation.
Hence, when testing your set, take help from Web Development Malta to export all the hreflang tags on your site. Each link should return a live 200-status and each page has the same hreflang tags.
Step 2: Correcting Language Codes
A search engine would not be able to recognize or rank any international site if the site does not use the right hreflang tag for the right country and language.
The formats that Google recommends for the hreflang attribute should be in between the ISO 639-1 and 3166-1 (Alpha format). There are certain tools and online sites that help you generate hreflang tags for a particular language and country.
Step 3: Resolving Incorrect and Missing Canonical Tags
The hreflang tag can also be used along with canonical annotations. Hreflang tags need to refer canonical URLs for self-reference.
The canonical tag lets Google or other search engines know which pages should be given priority to index. If a canonical tag indicates a different page, in consequence, all of the versions of that page can be de-indexed by the search engine. Web Development Malta can help you use right canonical tag that can point the right page.
Step 4: Using Absolute URLs
Instead of making everything right, it would be very problematic if the hreflang link reference is relative. It is always recommended that the hreflang link reference is absolute. Hence, always make sure to use an absolute URL instead of a relative one.
Step 5: Adding Hreflang Tags to No-Indexed Pages
Search engines like Google would not be able to follow the return link from any no-indexed page or blocked page back to the originating link. Google has a way to report this type of hreflang tags error if they point to a no-indexed page. Only the blocked pages will stop working and you can stop this from happening by making sure the hreflang tag points the right page for indexing.
Step 6: Treating Duplicate Contents
If you think that implementing hreflang tags fixes the problem of duplicate content issues, then you are absolutely wrong. Hreflang tags of your site will let Goole understand what country or the language your page is targeting. But, it does not help Google to decide which page is better for a specific content query on search results.
If the same content in different languages targets different regions then they will be considered as duplicate contents. You should consider the duplicate content issue as hreflang can not help you solve this problem.
To sum up, these problems can be resolved if you follow a proper strategy. In this article, we have come up with the best steps to avoid the hreflang issue. For more assistance, you can consult your issues with Web Development Malta for exclusive support.