The other day, Gary Illyes from Google posted on Twitter that they spent over 30 minutes reviewing hreflang codes with MENA, EU, ASIA, etc. region codes and confirmed “they are not working” as expected. In short, Google uses hreflang for countries not for regions. Gary said “we don’t extract a language even from something like fr-eu, let alone use it in ranking.” “our current infrastructure is not capable of understanding regions, just countries and in some cases metros,” he added. Why not? Why shouldn’t Google figure out regions within countries? Gary said he doesn’t think it is useful. He said he is actually “also skeptical about the merits of introducing this”.” If you place markup like es-latam on a page, does that mean Brazil and French Guiana should get a Spanish page? There’s also no one language for EU or Asia, and defaulting to one is not necessarily good for users,” he added. Here are the tweets: Here are some more tweets from Googlers on the topic: This may be why Google considers hreflang one of the most complex topics in SEO. Forum discussion at Twitter.