Marketing 2 min read

Here's how to use Hreflang Attributes According to Google

Hreflang attributes are not ranking signals, but using them the right way could drive more targeted traffic to your page. Here's how as per Google.

iQoncept / Shutterstock.com

iQoncept / Shutterstock.com

Webmaster and trend analyst at Google, John Mueller recently advised SEOs on the correct ways to use hreflang attributes on a web page.

Hreflang tag attributes — also called rel= “alternate” hreflang=” x” — is useful when you have content that’s specific to a local audience.

The Hreflang is an HTML or tag attribute that tells Google the relationship between pages in a different language on your website. That way, the search engine can serve the correct language in its SERP based on the searcher’s country or language preference.

For example, to create a French-language version of your English-language landing page, you must include the hreflang=” fr” tag. In response, Google would serve the French version of the page to IP addresses from French-speaking countries.

With that said, here’s Muller’s advice on the correct and incorrect ways to use this tag attribute on a web page.

Google Ignores Hreflang Attributes in Anchor tags

In a Reddit thread, a user asked whether webmasters and SEOs could use hreflang attributes in anchor tags.

The user noted that Google didn’t pick up on any of the hreflang attributes when placed in anchor tags. And Muller responded, saying, “we don’t do that.

In other words, Google ignores hreflang attributes in anchor tags, so it shouldn’t be used that way. The Google webmaster and trend analyst then explained how SEOs should use the HTML attribute.

Muller explained:

“Use link tags in the head if you want hreflang to be picked up. Hreflang is hard enough when you do things technically correct, don’t make it harder by hoping it works in non-documented ways.”

With that said, you should know that hreflang is not a ranking signal in and of itself. However, it could help deliver more targeted traffic to your website.

Not only will this bring down the bounce rate, but it could also increase conversion significantly.

Read More: How to Build Links with Visual Content

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