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Most of the sites use the hreflang tag incorrectly

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75% of sites with multiple language versions made at least one mistake when implementing the hreflang attribute. About it stated results of research of SEMrush.

SEMrush analyzed 20 thousand multilingual sites. This was estimated about 50 parameters. Each of these sites was 7 language versions.

The goal of research was to attract the attention of SEO specialists to errors of language markup.

Below are the most common problems when using the hreflang attribute identified by analysis:

  • Hreflang-conflicts within the source code of the page (58%)
    • The lack of a self-referencing hreflang attribute (96%);
    • Conflicts of attributes hreflang and rel=canonical (52%);
    • More than one URL is specified for the same value of the hreflang (3%).
  • Incorrect hreflang-links (37%)
    • Hreflang-the link points to a page with a 301 redirect (66%);
    • Hreflang-the link points to a page that returns status code 5xx or 4хх (38%);
    • Not used absolute links (15%).
  • The problems associated with the values of the hreflang (15%)
    • Incorrect country code (45%);
    • Wrong language code (40%);
    • Use only the code of the country (23%);
    • The underscore instead of dash (20%);
    • Invalid the order of the values of the hreflang (3%).
  • Not specified hreflang for one or more pages (32%)
    • The owners of multilingual sites often forget to prescribe information about the language for some pages.
  • The discrepancy between the language (21% of pages)
    • In these cases, a prescribed language value different from the actual language of the text found on the page.

"An important part of the strategy for international SEO is to ensure to deliver the right content written in a specific language and is country-specific, desired audience. In order to effectively reach online users, you need to properly use the hreflang attributes and avoid the described error" — commented the results of the research in SEMrush.

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