hreflang tag for very unique international website

by @ncabane (116), 2 years ago

Hey there!

This is my very first post. Hopefully, this will be helpful for more people than just me.

For a current client, I am facing a very particular situation when it comes to hreflang settings. In this case, the client has a mix of direct and pretty common alternates plus other not so common but with a language in common.

This scenario might require the use of HTML lang just language + hreflang lang to be language-region in my opinion.

Example My client will be selling a "product" and this product will have different possible alternates. This is just an example of course, as way more alternates should appear.

  • (html lang = es) (hreflang lang = es-es)
  • (html lang = en (hreflang lang = en-es)
  • (html lang = it) (hreflang lang = it-es)
  • (html lang = es) (hreflang lang = es-es)
  • (html lang = de) (hreflang lang = de-es
  • (html lang = it) (hreflang lang = it-it)
  • (html lang = en) (hreflang lang = en-it)
  • (html lang = es) (hreflang lang = es-it)
  • (html lang = ar) (hreflang lang = ar-it)
  • (html lang = de) (hreflang lang = de-it)
  • (html lang = es) (hreflang lang = es-pl)
  • (html lang = pl) (hreflang lang = pl-pl)
  • (html lang = es) (hreflang lang = es-be)
  • (html lang = nl) (hreflang lang = nl-be)
  • (html lang = es) (hreflang lang = es-at)
  • (html lang = de) (hreflang lang = de-at)

I asked this question in Google Webmaster Forum and as far as I know, my hreflang proposal should be fine, however, I have big doubts when it comes to HTML lang tags. I am aware that Google ignores these tags (HTML lang), but I want to avoid any future issues so I really wonder if this "just language" HTML lang tag + "language+region" combination would work fine as I've found in tools like the Merkle's checker or ahrefs audit that they spot these combinations as wrong.

I am aware that many websites use the same HTML lang + hreflang lang "language+region" combination just as:

What would you think?

1 Reply
1 User
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by @jaap (1667), 2 years ago

If you have several alternate URLs targeted at users with the same language but in different locales, it's a good idea also to provide a catchall URL for geographically unspecified users of that language.

For example, you may have specific URLs for English speakers in Ireland (en-ie), Canada (en-ca), and Australia (en-au), but should also provide a generic English (en) page for searchers in, say, the US, UK, and all other English-speaking locations. It can be one of the specific pages, if you choose

Source and more info

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