Google has recently updated their official documentation for hreflang help. Prior, it only had content around using language annotations, supported language values and a couple of common mistakes. The new version goes through the three methods for indicating your alternate pages, guidelines, supported language/region codes, use the x-default tag for unmatched languages, common mistakes and debugging techniques.You can see the old version on the wayback machine and compare it to the new version over here. Aleyda Solis, an international SEO, was the first to notice and post about it on Twitter from what I can tell. She wrote: So those of you that have or need to implement hreflang, check out the new docs.Forum discussion at Twitter. … [Read more...] about Google Updates Their hreflang Official Documentation
Fierce competitors Nike & Adidas make for a compelling study of differing approaches to internationalizing your website… and salutary lessons in what can go wrong for even the biggest brands’ international SEO campaigns. Fundamentally, there are two domain architectures to consider for your international brand: a single top-level domain (TLD) or multiple TLDs (e.g., .com, .co.uk, .fr, .de, etc.). In theory, both are equally valid options and can deliver exactly the same level of SEO benefit. In practice, the two options have wildly different risks and challenges that should be considered when choosing an international structure (and when auditing your international SEO technical platform). Nike has taken the single TLD approach, hosting all of their multinational content on the nike.com domain and generally redirecting the various local TLDs to that domain: (Unfortunately, not all nike.[TLD] variations fit so easily into that pattern. See nike.co.uk, which redirects to … [Read more...] about Adidas, Nike & Auditing hreflangs For Explosive SEO Results
I apologize for talking yet again about hreflang — but there is an important point I really want to make for those working in geo-targeting. For some, “hreflang” is becoming an auto-reflex, and that’s definitely not helping their international success. Allow me to explain why. A quick recap of hreflang first. Hreflang is an attribute which can be added to a link element in a page head, an HTTP header or an XML sitemap to indicate a geographic or linguistic preference for a URL; thus, enabling search engines to serve the correct page to searchers based on their language or location. Currently, both Google and Yandex support hreflang. Sounds great, doesn’t it? In many ways it is — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always the answer. 1. Size & Scale Matter Let’s say you have a basic blog, and you want to target English speakers in the US, the UK and South Africa. You create the same content, but with slight regional variations … [Read more...] about 3 Reasons Why Deploying Hreflang Shouldn’t Be An Auto-Reflex!
Google & Yandex announced the new x-default hreflang tag attribute earlier this month and, in doing so, closed the final gap in executing “perfect” SEO platforms for multinational brands. The problem solved by the new tag is indicating your preferred “default” content when you are returned for searches in countries that you haven’t created localised content for. This is especially important when you consider the increased bounce rates, low conversion rates, and poor click-through rates (CTRs) that come with losing control of your preferred URL for Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). In their webmaster blog post, Google uses the example of defining a non-location-specific URL (in this case, a “select your country” page) as the default page for visitors for whom localised content has not been created. This is likely to be the most common usage for the “x-default” hreflang attribute — it would certainly be my recommendation … [Read more...] about Using the X-Default Hreflang Tag For Multinational SEO: Default Language Opportunities
As your business grows, you need to adapt your strategy to new circumstances and widen your company's reach. If you want to expand your online presence to new markets, you need a thorough, well-planned international SEO strategy. In 2011, Google introduced the hreflang attribute to help website owners and developers increase their site's visibility to users in multiple countries. When you create similar content in several languages that is specific to different local audiences, it's worth using the hreflang attribute to show Google which language you are using on a specific web page. This element helps the search engine understand the lingual and geographical targeting of your website. As a result, the right language or country version of your cross-annotated web pages will appear in the correct local version of Google. In other words, the hreflang attribute enables you to speak to your target clients in different countries in their language. As a result, if your visitors see the right … [Read more...] about 75% of Websites Have Hreflang Implementation Mistakes