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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

Has conflicting outgoing hreflang annotations

It has been detected that the current webpage includes hreflang attributes that point to the same referenced URL but with discrepancies in language or regional targeting, indicating a clash in the annotations.


Why is this important?

When search engines crawl a site, they interpret hreflang tags as directives for indexing content in multiple languages. If an English language page points to a French version using hreflang, it is signaling the search engine to index both the English and French variations as parallels in their individual languages.


An issue arises if the English webpage references the same French URL multiple times within hreflang attributes, yet with different language codes, such as for German. This inconsistency leaves search engines puzzled as to whether the alternate is French or German, leading them to disregard the hreflang data altogether.


What does the Optimization check?

This Optimization activates for URLs that have several conflicting hreflang annotations targeting the identical destination URL with inconsistencies among those annotations.


Observation: This issue bears resemblance to a related scenario captured by the Optimization titled 'Has conflicting incoming hreflang annotations'. The distinction is that the current Optimization scrutinizes pages with outgoing annotations, while the other focuses on the destination pages of hreflang links.


Examples that trigger this Optimization:

Take into account the following webpage address:


A conflicting hreflang situation for this address would appear as follows:


<link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/fr/page-a/" hreflang="fr-fr" /><link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/fr/page-a/" hreflang="de-de" />


How do you resolve this issue?

To tackle this, ascertain that each URL is cited once only as an alternate in hreflang annotations. Identify the erroneous hreflang and correct it manually by updating the URLs, or by fixing the script generating them.


In the end, your goal should be to ensure that every hreflang URL has a single, accurate hreflang annotation associated with it.

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