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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

Missing canonical URL

A URL has hreflang annotations, yet lacks a canonical link element.


Why is this important?

Having hreflang annotations doesn't necessitate canonical tags – therefore, the absence of canonical tags isn't problematic. Nonetheless, combining canonicals with hreflang provides clearer cues to search engines, potentially enhancing URL indexing and user language preference matching.


What does the Optimization check?

The check activates when a URL possesses hreflang annotations without an accompanying canonical tag.


Examples that trigger this Optimization:

This URL would activate the Optimization if it contains hreflang tags but omits the canonical in the <head> section:


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


The Optimization is also triggered if the canonical tag is missing from the HTTP headers.


Why is this Optimization marked 'Potential Issue'?

This is classified as a 'Potential Issue' because, while it's not currently problematic, it warrants investigation for future-proofing the site. Canonical links are optional for hreflang, yet advantageous. Ensure canonical tags are self-referential when used with hreflang.


Further Reading

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