Tag Archives: search engine optimisation

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 .co.uk, 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.

SEO Ranking Factors & Correlation: When a Metric is correlated with Google Rankings


In this opportunity we are going to talk about SEO ranking factors and correlation. In the other words, we want to see how correlation can impact on SEO factors. If you have likely seen, over the course of your career in the SEO services, you will see how much SEO works with correlation stuff and how many companies put these out. Actually there are also so many myths about correlation, but aside from that let’s figure out a few smart ways to use and understand the data at hand.

What is correlation good for?

So, what’s correlation actually good for? We know a bunch of myths, but actually that do not work. So, here are some things that correlation is good for.

1. IDing the elements that more successful pages tend to have

When you look across a correlation, you will find lots of pages are twice as likely to have X and rank highly as the ones that don’t rank highly which you can use this finding as a good piece of data.

2. Watching elements over time to see if they rise or lower in correlation

it is important to keep your eyes on links to see if they raise or lower, and then we can say:”Oh, does it look like links are getting more or less influential in Google’s rankings? Are they more or less correlated than they were last year or two years ago?” If the links drop dramatically, you may test the power of links again and it’s the time for you to try another experiment. Then, see if links still move the needle or if they’re becoming less powerful or if it’s merely because the correlation is dropping.”

3. Comparing Sets of search results against one another we can identify unique attributes that might be true

The example above shows that in a vertical like news, we find that domain authority is much more important than it is in fitness; this is where smaller sites potentially have much more opportunity or dominate. Other thing that we can figure out is that https is not too suitable to stand out in news since everybody has it. On the other hand, it works well in fitness as it produces a more stand out result and people who do have it will do it much better or maybe they also invest more in their sites.

4. Judging Metrics as a Predictive Ranking Ability

One question may come up to your mind when you’re looking at a metric like domain authority, such as how good is that at telling me on average how much better one domain will rank in Google versus another? In fact, you can see the number is a good indication of that. When the number goes down, then domain authority is less predictive less sort of useful for me. Conversely, it will be more useful if it goes up. A study is conducted to look at traffic metrics with Alexa Rank and SimilarWeb and which ones are best correlated with actual traffic. The result shows that Alexa Rank is awful while SimilarWeb is better.

5. Finding Elements to Test

You will be amazed to see large images embedded on a page that’s already ranking on page 1 of search results in the first few. This is why we need correlation, especially in SEO when it comes to ranking factors or ranking elements might be misleading.

So, now that you know the area that correlation is good for. However, you still need to be careful as correlation in SEO can be very misleading, especially when it comes to ranking factors or ranking elements. After all, with this explanation, hopefully you can understand how to use and not to use that data.


The SEO Checklist to Look Out for in 2018


We all know that being placed in the first page of Google can’t be done in one night; in fact, one must burn in the midnight oil if they wish to achieve that result in a short period of time. Besides, there are a wide variety of detailed subjects that any SEO services should handle. Therefore, in order to make it easier to remember things that you’ve got to cross off to rank in the year, we have collected 8 hints that any SEO analyst should take a look of.

  1. Crawl-able, Accessible URL in which content Google can easily crawl and parse.

When we use SEO services, we surely want the Googlebot spiders to visit our pages and understand the content that’s in there, whether it is a text, images, video, or embeds or anything else. In fact, this is actually one of the crucial things that matters.

  1. Keyword Research

Another element that is as important as the previous one is keyword research. Most business owners want to know what kind of words and phrases that searchers are actually using. By knowing the primary keyword and a set of related secondary keywords, business owners can discover the searcher’s intention while the SEO engineer can discover and apply the right optimization efforts.

  1. Investigate the SERP

The next thing to do is SERP investigation, in which you will perform a search query in Google and see what comes back to you. Then, analyze what Google believes to be relevant to the keywords searches. Some of SEO specialists think that content will answer this searcher’s query. In fact, you can easily take over that ranking position when you find questions but no one is serving this and many people are actually looking for the answer.

  1. Have the most credible, amplifiable person to Create Content that’s going to serve the searcher’s goal and solve their task better than anyone else on page one

By having a credible person to create the content, you will make amplification, link building, as well as social sharing way more likely to happen. As a result, your content becomes more credible, both in the eyes of searchers and visitors as well as in Google’s eyes too.

After that, you have to try to serve the searcher’s goal and solve their tasks way better than anyone else does  on page one. This will show how you have optimized a lot of these other things and reduce the possibility of visitors to rank on those other people higher.

  1. Craft a compelling title, meta description

Some of us think that Google does not use the Meta description quite often, if you think the same, you are in the same boat. However, the fact is, there’s a high percent of the time when an actual Meta description from the page is used even higher than the title is actually used. In fact, the snippet is something that is crucial to your SEO efforts as it determines how your business is displayed in search result. It will determine whether people want to click on your listing or they prefer to click on someone else’s site. Actually, it is your opportunity to promote your page and generate clicks. Therefore, in order to win, you have to know the kind of words and phrases  people want.

  1. Employ those primary secondary, and Related Keywords

Even though now people prefer to see visuals content, such as video or some other embeddable format, Google can’t necessarily and easily parse out, so they might not count it as content on the page. As a solution, you have to prove to Google that you have the relevant keywords on the page.

  1. Use Rich Snippets and Schema Mark up to Enhance the Visibility

You don’t always need rich snippets and schema mark up, but if you want to get into Google news or you have a featured snippet opportunity and you can get the visual for that featured snippet along with that credit, or in the case where you can get rich snippets around travel or around flights, other verticals that schema is supporting right now, you actually need rich snippets and schema mark up.

  1. Make Sure the Page Load Fast and Look Great

The last but not the least, you also have to pay attention on your website look as your website look is still important, so make sure it looks great from a visual, UI perspective and UX perspective, such as, does your page accomplish their tasks in an easy, fulfilling way on every device, at every speed, and make it secure? You can try many ways to ensure the safety of your web-pages, but HTTPS is one of the things that will continue to be a focus for Google in 2018.

Have you checked the  list above? Make sure you keep them as a part of your efforts. We are sure if you perform all the efforts above, you can achieve a better result in this year!