When do We need to use this tag?
- You have translated alternate versions of your website.
- Only navigation elements are translated and remaining content is the same.
- Website with single language but targets different regions.
Now, the question arises, what is the difference between multilingual and multiregional?
Multilingual websites give content in two or more languages. Like a Latin American website has content with two different languages, English and Spanish.
Multiregional websites can be defined as those with content that aim at users in various countries. Some of these websites may be multilingual and multiregional.
How to Deal with a Multilingual Website?
Getting Away from a URL
Make sure that you predetermine all characters that are prohibited in your URL to UTF-8 equal. This is proper and appropriate syntax.
For instance, suppose space in the URL ( ) which is illegitimate character in URL. So when you are trying to enter URL with space like http://www.domainname.com/with space, should be encoded like this: http://www.domainname.com/with20%space or http://www.domainname.com/with+space. Here ‘20%’ and ‘+’ are UTF-8 backed characters for illegal syntax.
Target Particular CountriesHow will Google understand website targeted countries?
Here some elements which are used to determine targeted countries by Google:
Server Location: Servers are chiefly key signals for the Search Engines, via IP address of the server. Nowadays, many websites are hosted on distributed hosting.
Top-Level-Domains (TLDs): ccTLDs are also important to identify targeted audience countries. They represent particular countries like .au for Australia and .de for Germany. By this both search engines and users can come to know for users of which particular country the content on a website is.
Geo-targeting: You can set particular country in Google Webmaster Tools to target your users.
Other Signals to Website: To make your website local, you can add address, phone number, local language and others.
How to Structure URLs?For multilingual website, structuring your website URLs is most important.
Below are some points which will help you to make your website local:
|Sub-domains with gTLDs||Easy to Set up and can user Google Webmaster Tool for Geo-targeting||www.ie.example.com|
|Sub-directories with gTLDs||Easy to Set up and can user Google Webmaster Tool for Geo-targeting||www.example.com/jp/|
Solution to Duplicate ContentDuplicate content is the most critical situation which should not be ignored. Putting identical content on 2 dissimilar URLs will be considered copied content which can affect the website’s organic ranking.
You can use these options for duplicate content:
- 301 redirection
How to use rel="alternate" hreflang="x"?Do you have identical content in other language on the same website? Simply, you can use this specific element on your website if it contains content in a different language.
Suppose you have a website like http://www.yourwebsite_name.com and other language website is http://www.yourwebsite_name.com/fr/. Below are methods which can be used to show that French URL is French language equivalent to the English page.
1. HTML Link Element
2. HTTP Header
You can also include language specifications into website sitemap.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>If you have a website with different languages, then every page for different languages must contain rel="alternate" hreflang="x" to classify all languages itself. Suppose if your website has pages with English, French and Italy languages, then the French version must contain rel="alternate" hreflang="x" for English and Italy versions. Similarly, it should be done for Italy and English language versions.
If you have different URLs targeted with same language but different regions, it will be a good idea to give a general URL for geographically indeterminate users. For instance, if you want to target all searchers in UK, you can specify the general English-language (en) page for all UK users. You can specify URL for users in France (en-fr) and for users in Italy (en-it).
Supported Values for hreflangValues for hreflang classify the language in the format of ISO 6391-1 and region in the format of ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 for particular alternate URL.
Be sure that you use correct syntax for countries and regions to make sure appropriate functionality of rel=”alternate” tags.
Ending SummaryWell, in multilingual and multiregional websites, there are three scenarios where you require to use rel=“alternate” hreflang=“x”. When you have a website with different language and region, you have to specify tags and mark up your data. By using this tag, you can inform Google that your content is in a particular language or your content is for users in a particular region. Consider URLs structure to create better signals for search engines to target your particular country.
Click here to get more information about web development solutions. I have tried to cover all things about rel=“alternate” hreflang=“x” and about managing multilingual websites. If I have missed anything, let me know.Your comments will be appreciated.