Very interested to read this morning that Google have announced that the HREFLANG framework has been expanded to include a fallback default in situations which is supported by both Google and Yandex.
If we take the following example
- sitex.com – Default Country Selector page
- sitex.com/gb/en – For users in the UK speaking English
- sitex.com/us/en – For users in the USA speaking English
- sitex.com/za/en – For users in South Africa speaking English
- sitex.com/fr/fr – For users in France speaking French
- sitex/com/ch/fr – For users in Switzerland speaking French
- sitex.com/be/fr – For users in Belgium speaking French
As highlighted above a number of different sites exist to cater for local markets. With sites falling outside of these markets, conculsions are left to Google, which if we are completely honest can be a dangerous thing to do as Google doesnt necessarily always interpret things correctly
From today this is changing.
The new x-default hreflang attribute value signals to the search engine algorithms that the specified page doesn’t target any specific language or locale and is the default page when no other page is better suited. In context this would be implemented as follows
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://sitex.com/gb/en” hreflang=”en-gb” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://sitex.com/us/en” hreflang=”en-us” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://sitex.com/za/en” hreflang=”en-au” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://sitex.com/fr/fr” hreflang=”fr-fr” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://sitex.com/ch/fr” hreflang=”ch-fr” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://sitex.com/be/fr” hreflang=”be-fr” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://sitex.com/” hreflang=”x-default” />
This certainly to me is a fantastic addition to something I have found to be a useful support for global campaigns, which have become increasingly complex in the current Google Landscape.