Wrong hreflang tag can cost traffic

More and more webmasters and networks are active on an international level and imaXcash also offers dating products for over 20 countries around the world. If you use this diversity as a webmaster and also generate traffic via Google, you will get in touch with hreflang tags sooner or later. With this attribute, search engines will be notified of the site’s geo-targeting – and it’s also a major source of error.

Actually it is quite easy with the hreflang tags. They are always used when a language applies to several countries and thus no clear assignment is possible. If a website is in German, it can theoretically also be oriented to Austria or Switzerland. A website in English does not mean the user in the US addressed – also England, Australia and some other countries could be meant. The attributes make sense, but they also offer a lot of potential for errors, as was found in a study by SEMRush.

Errors can happen, of course, but they also have an impact on the optimization, and in the worst case they cost us directly traffic because we fall off in the ranking. So what are the errors that occur with the hreflang attribute? At SEMrush, 20,000 multi-lingual websites were checked using 13 check routines and the following errors were found more frequently:

  • Errors in the hreflang values
  • Conflicts with the attribute within the source code
  • Wrong hreflang link
  • completely missing hreflang tags
  • Tag and language do not match

So there are some things that can go wrong and most of them are errors that can be fixed quickly if you just look over the pages. But usually it is so that the tags once installed and then never again looked at. If there are problems in the ranking, hardly anyone would come up with the idea to check these attributes. It makes a perfect sense to include them in the checklist for possible sources of error!