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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

Has outgoing hreflang annotations to redirecting URLs

The URL in question is noted to have at least one outbound hreflang tag that redirects to a different URL.

Why is this important?

Search engines utilize hreflang tags as signals for indexing. For instance, an English webpage with an hreflang linking to its French counterpart instructs search engines to index both the English and the French pages, deeming them equivalent in their given languages.

Should the URL of the French page be redirected elsewhere, it sends mixed signals. The hreflang suggests indexing the URL as the French language version, whereas the redirect indicates to index an alternative URL instead.

This leads to confusion among search engines, which might result in ignoring the hreflang tag entirely.

What does the Optimization check?

The Optimization activates for any URL with hreflang tags, where one or more of these tags point to a URL that redirects.

Examples that trigger this Optimization:

This URL would activate the Optimization if it included an hreflang tag, such as:

<link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="en-us" />

and the referenced hreflang URL responded with a 301 (Permanent Redirect) header:

HTTP/... 301 Moved Permanently...

URLs with other types of redirection also trigger the Optimization, like those with any other 3XX status response.

How do you resolve this issue?

Identifying the source of the conflict is key. Either the hreflang tag is misleading, or the redirect should not be in place.

Determining the appropriate hreflang URL may require manual review. Once clarified, the solution becomes apparent:

  • Should the hreflang URL be right, the redirect must be taken down.

  • If the hreflang URL is incorrect, updating the hreflang tags to reference the right URL (with a 200 status) is necessary.


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