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The 8 Biggest SEO Misconceptions of Hreflang Implementation

The 8 Biggest SEO Misconceptions of Hreflang Implementation

There are a number of excellent tips on how to effectively geo-target sites, but there is one of the best methods is to use the hreflang element. Unfortunately, there is still so much confusion around, which caused some serious errors on many sites. In fact, more than half of them had some sort of problem with the code implantation, and it must be due to lack of understanding of hreflang fundamentals.

Therefore, in this article, we would like to give you the 8 misconceptions that often mislead many web developers and SEO services agency. So, if you are working in those fields, you’d better read the following points, and hopefully, after reading the points below, you can understand the right concept for understanding and applying the hreflang in your SEO strategy.

Misconception 1: You only Need Hreflang on the Home Page of the Site

Some people prefer to put hreflang tags in a few sites on their home pages. Unfortunately, Google’s sample code only displays the home page version of a URL which makes some interpreting only needed on the home pages. Many SEO professionals said that Google was smart enough to figure it out. All you need to do is just give them the template and they will understand.

However, Google cannot understand the client’s wants, that’s why in most cases, it will show the incorrect page in the local market. Therefore, you need to add the hreflang element to any and all pages that have an alternative version included in an xml site map and not just home pages.

Misconception 2: You only Need Hreflang on Dot-Com Domains

Some developer teams are arguing if it is possible to develop a solution to map pages across different top-level domain. They think that once they use ccTLDs like, the search engine would understand what country they are targeting. This is why you need to do a test to make sure that it is understood and that no other local sites are ranking in the market. Also, it is strongly recommended for you to use the hreflang element for any page that has an alternative, no matter what domain it is on. Besides, enterprise hreflang XML tools can map the URLs regardless of what domain they are on. Furthermore, you can also host the XML sitemaps for all of the different sites in the same location which makes maintaining them much easier.

Misconception 3: You can only use the X-Default on the Home Page with a Country Selector

Another opinion came from a few SEO pros that said the x-default could only be used when you have a home page that has a country selector which can only be used on this page. This statement is almost right, but actually, there are two specific applications of the x-default. For instance, sites like FedEx or Ikea present a splash page with a language and/or country selector asking the visitor to choose which location and/or language version of the site they want to visit. Since this page does not target any specific language or country, the x-default would tell search engines to present this page in any market that does not have the assigned page. The wrong part is when the SEO pros state on how to handle older and large multinationals, especially those in the United States, a place which the main dot-com site is often used as both their global site and their U.S. site. So, in this situation, you should also use the x-default.

Misconception 4: Regional Sites Cannot Use Hreflang Element

People usually use regional sites to target multiple countries in a region using a single language site. The most common of these regions are APAC for Asia Pacific countries, LatAM for South and Central American country regions, or MENA covering Arabic speaking Middle East countries and North Africa.

You can also use the hreflang on a regional site in some ways. The first method is by setting the regional site to a common language which is most commonly done with an Arabic language site.

SEO Tactics

Another way is to tag the same page for multiple countries. Usually, sites do this when they already have a designated language site, multiple local sites in the same language, and want this version to be visible in specific markets rather than the x-default or language version.

In this approach, every language market will list the element that you are targeting.

SEO Tips

Misconception 5: To Save Lines of Code Add Multiple Codes to the Hreflang=Syntax

Some people think that the application can cut down on the number of XML sitemap entries by adding multiple countries and language codes to the syntax.

SEO 2018

The fact is this is not working, since you must create a separate URL element for each URL and Google has been very clear about this.

Misconception 6: You Should Set Your Rel=Canonical to the Global Site

This is totally wrong as doing so will remove your local language pages almost as fast as blocking them with a robots.txt entry. In fact, this might be one of the biggest mistakes that many companies make, related to hreflang other than incorrect country and language codes. Most make this suggestion in the context of removing duplicate content. The hreflang element essentially does this for you.

Therefore, the right answer is to point to the local language page it is on and never point to any other page unless you want the page to be blocked. This makes no need for hreflang tag to be on the page. For example:

SEO Techniques

Misconception 7: You can combine Hreflang and Canonical Tags

This mistake is probably the most common one that often happens. In many cases, developers often try to combine the canonical and self-referencing hreflang element into a single tag.

In this case, it was the page for Ireland English.

SEO Practice

Therefore, as a solution, you need to make sure that the rel=canonical must be its one entity as must the hreflang element for the page. For that reason, you cannot combine them under any conditions and the correct entry should be like this.

Best SEO Practice

Misconception 8: The Rel=Canonical Can Serve as the Self-Referencing Entry

The source to support this concept is still hard to find, but it is completely incorrect. Below is an example of this mistake when referencing the Argentina Spanish page.

New SEO 2018

As stated before that it is incorrect; therefore, you must use hreflang element for the self-referencing element. In fact, if the hreflang tags are on the local pages, they should look like this:

SEO Tactics 2



We have to admit that hreflang is one of the most complex technical issues SEO pros must deal with. Unfortunately, there are lots of incorrect interpretations that you can find anywhere. So, take a moment before you tackle your hreflang implementation to think about what problems you are trying to solve and be careful whether these changes can cause new problems or not.

Ways to Use Google Apps Script to Fetch Databases to a Google Spreadsheet

How to Use Google Apps Script to Fetch Databases to a Google Spreadsheet_YWF

It is pretty common to export information from a WordPress database to an Excel sheet or in a CSV format. However, you may realize that there is a problem with exporting and importing files. One of the most common ones is that the process is sometimes not too intuitive and all files need to be updated at regular intervals.

However, now you can forget those old days, as today, you can solve the problem by using Google Apps Script to link your WordPress database to a Google spreadsheet which automates the workflow. As a web developer, you surely want to know how a Google Apps Script can be used to fetch database values from WordPress through the Google Apps Script Spreadsheet Service. So, here is some information about it that you need to know.

What is Google Apps Script?

Through Google Apps Script, you can automate tasks across Google products and third party services and build web applications. In many cases, Google Apps Script is also known as a JavaScript cloud scripting.

This is why you can do a lot of new things with Google Apps like Docs, Sheets, and Forms through the Google App Script. Other benefits that you can get from the Google App Scripts are:

  • Add custom menus, dialogs, and sidebars to Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms.
  • Write custom functions for Google Sheets
  • Publish web apps – either standalone or embedded in Google Sites
  • Interact with other Google services, including AdSense, Analytics, Calendar, Drive, Gmail, and Maps.

Furthermore, with the Google Apps Script Spreadsheet service, you can create access and modify Google Sheets files.

Creating a Google Apps Script with Spreadsheet

If you want to create a Google Apps Scripts with Spreadsheet, the steps will be as follows:

  • Create a New Spreasheet
  • Click on “Tools ->Script Editor”
  • The editor window will appear in a new tab
  • When writing the script, there are several Classes and methods that you can choose. Some of them are as follows:
  1. Classes
  • BorderStyle
  • DataValidation
  • ContainerInfo
  • Range
  1. Methods
  • getChartType()
  • getRanges()
  • setColours()


Below is the Sample app script example that will store the spreadsheet data into the log:

function logProductInfo() {

var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();

var data = sheet.getDataRange().getValues();

for (var i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {

Logger.log(‘Product name: ‘ + data[i][0]);

Logger.log(‘Product number: ‘ + data[i][1]);



  • Don’t forget to debug the script after writing the script. You can debug the icon easily by clicking on debug icon and if debugging is successful with no error then you can “Run” the script by clicking on run icon.
  • Click on “View->Logs” to view the Log.

 Google Apps Script and WordPress

You can also use Google Apps Script with WordPress in many ways. For example, you can connect with the WordPress database. Via JDBC service, Google Apps Script can access many relational databases. It is actually a wrapper around the standard Java Database Connectivity standard. In Google Apps Script, the JDBC service supports the Google Cloud SQL, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle databases.

You can read the following example that will demonstrate the database connection:

function myFunction() {// make the connectionvar connection = Jdbc.getConnection(“jdbc:mysql://db IP or host name:port number/DB name”, “User name”, “password”);// perform the queryvar SQLstatement = connection.createStatement();var result = SQLstatement.executeQuery(“SELECT * FROM DB_NAME”);// choose a range in sheetvar ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();var cell = ss.getRange(‘A2’);// loop through result object, setting cell values to database datavar row = 0;while( {for(var i=0; i<4; i++) { // four fields per recordcell.offset(row, i).setValue(result.getString(i+1));}row++;}// tidy upresult.close();SQLstatement.close();connection.close();}

By running this code, you will get the values from the database and add the fetched values into the currently active spreadsheet. You can also add values into the database, in which those values can be used in WordPress. For instance, it is possible to register all of the users’ data in a spreadsheet in one go through the Google Apps Script.


In order to easily map your WordPress database to a Google Spreadsheet, you can use the Google Apps Script. Another advantage that you can get by applying this method is that you can simply run this script to update your spreadsheet as per your database. Furthermore, you don’t need to constantly import and merge files in order to keep your online and offline databases in sync. This makes this application highly useful, especially for developers who want to use Google APIs for many purposes.

6 Important Elements to Put in Your Design Guide Right Now

6 Important Elements to Put in Your Design Guide Right Now

In order to produce a good design team output and for ensuring a consistent brand identity, a web designer should create smart design guides. This is because a good design guide is such a work of art that has practical application in everyday design work. With design guide, you can showcase what your project is and aspire to be. It should include elements of design, voice and even code in a way that’s manageable, usable and easy to understand.

Above all, you need to know the six design guide elements that should be included in your documentation. Here they are.

  1. Brand Identity Examples

A good design guide should emphasize your brand identity in a visual format that represents your design material look. In other words, it should show than tell. However, the best example should display real-case uses that look exactly the same as the design standard and what you want to portray. Furthermore, discover when the design is at its best, whether it is on your website homepage, mobile homepage, app or any other place, then screen shoot to capture the image.

By using real images, you don’t need to create extra work to showcase visual elements, since you already have them in hand. Then, with visual proof, the team members can easily understand the actual practice of the written guideline work.

  1. Design Guidelines

Don’t forget to outline the use of design elements clearly; everything from color swatches to typography palettes and shapes, since explaining these things can help users apply the design style more accurately and consistently across medium. Furthermore, it is a good idea to include elements that might be different from print branding counterparts and how they relate when it comes to website design. So, if this is a part of your design strategy, you need to know which typefaces is substitution.

Remember to be specific when outlining design guidelines, for example H1 tags are always 88 points or thumbnail images are always 200 by 200 pixels, but be careful with too over-communicating unnecessary details, since it may make your team members get confused to find something in a sea of specifications.

  1. Voice and Personality

Believe it or not, but a descriptive writing style for copy can also impact the visuals type of imagery you choose, for example, the type of imagery you choose to use and even elements such as colour and type. All of these elements will produce an overall personality for your brand. Other factor, such as a strong voice and personality can also become a part of the visual identity.

  1. SEO Keywords

In search engine optimization, you will need to use keywords in your content, in fact, you need to involve keywords in the way you speak about the brand, in descriptive language about the design and put a list of the top keywords in the design guide itself.

With a keyword list, you can bring the words you want to say to top of mind, every time you see them. In other words, SEO keyword list attempt to make the words get stuck in reader’s head. Therefore, a good website design should be able to correlate to these keywords at all time to the content.

  1. Pattern and Element Styles

Make sure to have guides for all possible uses, such as on your still and animated versions of logos, colour palettes, patterns and even design elements such as form fields and navigation. If you want to give extra convenient to your team, you can create a pattern and element style guide in an online location so that users can just copy and paste elements for quick usage.

  1. Code Snippets

Web design and code are two things that you need to know in every website design guide since you will find codes from buttons to small animations to slider effects. Of course, these codes might consume your hours to your daily workflow as it eliminates the need to manually enter specs with every new element.

With Firefox, you can include design component information in its design guide for the recently revised branding and logo usage. All you need is to remember to include some base information such as where to use H1 through H4 on pages within the website design and how to style buttons and images, even if you don’t provide a full library of code snippets.

All the points above show that a design guide doesn’t always have to be a static document. In fact, you can present it in a way that can leverage your brand and visual identity. You can also use online versions of a design guide so that you can quickly and easily make changes, such as grabbing code and colour snippets.