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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

Has outgoing hreflang annotations to disallowed URLs

This means that the URL in question has at least one outgoing hreflang annotation URL that is disallowed in robots.txt.


Why is this important?

Hreflang annotations are signals to search engines, directing them on how to index language and regional URLs correctly. For instance, an English webpage indicating a corresponding French version via hreflang is suggesting that both the English and French pages should be indexed by search engines in their respective language versions.


Should this French URL be blocked in robots.txt, search engines would be prevented from crawling the page. While it doesn't entirely stop indexing of the URL, it impedes the ability to confirm the presence of reciprocal hreflang tags, which are vital for the correct functioning of hreflang.


What does the Optimization check?

This Optimization will be activated if any URL with hreflang annotations includes at least one hreflang URL that is not permitted due to robots.txt restrictions.


Note: This Optimization closely resembles the Optimization 'Disallowed URL has incoming hreflang'. However, this particular Optimization focuses on analysing the page that has the outgoing hreflang, while the other Optimization inspects the target page of an hreflang annotation.


Examples that trigger this Optimization:

This Optimization would activate if there was an hreflang annotation such as:

<link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/pages/us/page-a/" hreflang="en-us" />


when the designated hreflang is barred by robots.txt:


How do you resolve this issue?

To resolve these contradictory directives, you need to identify the source of the error. It could be an incorrect hreflang or an erroneous rule in robots.txt.

Ensure the hreflang URLs are correct through a thorough examination. Once determined, the solution should become clear:

  • If the hreflang URL is accurate, then robots.txt needs to be adjusted to either omit or update the blocking rule.

  • If the hreflang URL is erroneous, then revisions are required for the hreflang annotations to reference the appropriate URLs.

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