Google Officially Launches International Targeting in Webmaster Tools

After an initial beta testing period for a new International Targeting feature, Google has officially announced its inclusion into the Webmaster Tools suite, allowing for href-lang tag markup to be used to denote which version of a page should be served for a given locality. Because of the relative low adoption of href language tags up until now, implementation and syntax is often incorrect when using these tags.

International Targeting Error Reporting

Webmaster Tools can now help to detect some of these syntax errors, and help you to display the proper version of a given page for every viewer. The built-in reporting helps identify these common issues:


  • Missing return links: annotations must be confirmed from the pages they are pointing to. If page A links to page B, page B must link back to page A, otherwise the annotations may not be interpreted correctly. For each error of this kind Google may report where and when Google detected them, as well as where the return link is expected to be.


  • Incorrect hreflang values: The value of the hreflang attribute must either be a language code in ISO 639-1 format such as “es”, or a combination of language and country code such as “es-AR”, where the country code is in ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 format. In case Google indexing systems detect language or country codes that are not in these formats, Google will provide example URLs to help you fix them.

(photo and info sourced from Search Engine Land)

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