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4 hreflang tag errors Google corrects for you

Hreflang tags are amongst the toughest parts in technical online page positioning (SEO) to win factual.

There are rather quite so much of guidelines and rather quite so much of ways that these tags can dawdle unsafe. Google makes use of attributes rel="alternate" hreflang="x" to support the ethical language or regional uniform handy resource locator (URL) in search results.

The tags swap which page is confirmed in the quest results, but they wreck not the truth is wreck any page rank better.

A lot of the explicit practices around hreflang tags which could be presented in articles, at conferences and in studies won’t the truth is wreck a distinction. Google is correcting rather quite so much of things already, and in many instances, if something is unsafe, correcting it won’t wreck a distinction to your results. It’s very exhausting to wreck a commerce case to notice best practices whereas you don’t gaze any results from adjustments made.

Listed below are one of the important important devices Google could be correcting for you.


In accordance to the specs for hreflang, you will need to composed use hyphens somewhat than underscores to separate the language and the country.  To illustrate:

  • Exercise a hyphen: en-US
  • Don’t use an underscore: en_US

However what while you happen to did use underscore? You won’t gaze any errors in the Global Focusing on file narrate their private praises in Google Search Console.

Per Webmaster Traits Analyst Gary Illyes, it appears right here is something Google’s parser corrects for.


For the UK, the ethical country code to use, per Global Organization for Standardization (ISO) 3166-1 Alpha 2 structure, is GB, but UK is exceptionally reserved.

Wikipedia explains the that assignment of “exceptionally reserved” as it relates to code parts:

Exceptionally reserved code parts are codes reserved on the keep aside a matter to of nationwide ISO member our bodies, governments and worldwide organizations, that are required in notify to spice up a particular software, as specified by the requesting body and restricted to such use. 

Whenever you utilize en-UK to your hreflang tags, you in all likelihood won’t gaze an error in Google Search Console. Right here is one more one where Google is correcting for you because of it’s gentle incorrectly so in overall.

Webmaster Traits Analyst John Mueller talked about that Google can figure that out in a fresh Request Me The relaxation (AMA) on Reddit.

Self-referencing hreflang tags

The postulate right here is that every page have to composed absorb an hreflang impress that references basically the most modern page, but wreck you’d like it?

Google’s John Mueller suggests you wreck not. In a fresh Webmaster Central space of job hours hangout, John acknowledged:

It changed into once executed this solution to wreck it more uncomplicated for people to factual copy a block of text that entails all of the links, but you don’t no doubt wish to reference the page the impress is on.

Now not the use of absolute URLs

Construct or not it’s valuable to use absolute paths for URLs to your hreflang tags?

John Mueller says relative path URLs are gorgeous, but maybe not the explicit notice.

Any time complexity is launched, there’s more opportunity for things to trail unsafe.

Final ideas on Google correcting hreflang tags

Whenever you’d even absorb any of the above concerns with your hreflang tags, and likewise you’re seeing no concerns, take into tale whether it’s charge the time and energy to fix them.

If it takes rather quite so much of work, convincing, or favors from developers to win these devices fastened, and likewise you might gaze no results, then this might be exhausting to win eliminate-in for the fixes.

Whenever you wreck win them fastened, this might be more difficult to win eliminate-in for your subsequent ideas.

Opinions expressed on this article are those of the visitor writer and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Personnel authors are listed right here.

About The Author

Patrick Stox is an SEO Specialist for IBM and an organizer for the Raleigh SEO Meetup, basically the most excellent SEO Meetup in the US.