We ran the largest hreflang study ever, nearly 10X larger than any other study. In total, we looked at issues on 374,756 different domains that used hreflang tags. Our findings show that 67% of them have at least one issue. 67% of domains have hreflang issues across 374,756 domains studied Let’s look at the most common issues you should actually care about. Most common hreflang issues 56.3% have pages missing x-default 56.3% of domains have pages missing x-default hreflang annotations Setting an x-default is not required. But it is recommended if you need a fallback page for users whose language settings don’t match any of your localized versions.
18% have pages missing self-referencing hreflang tags
Self-referencing hreflang tags are included in the guidelines. But they’re really more like industry email list a best practice and not actually . Required. In the old days of hreflang, before the systems and plugins handled it. Having a missing self-referencing tag meant that when you copied the tags to other pages, at least one of the connections would be broken. This is less likely to happen on . Modern websites, so it’s not as big of an issue. 16.9% have hreflang tags referencing redirected or broken pages
15.3% have pages missing reciprocal tags
As I mentioned, hreflang tags work in pairs. If both pages don’t reference each other, they can’t . Establish the connection and swap properly in the CE Leads search results. This is especially important when you have multiple versions of a page in the same language. You may end up sending the user to a version of the page for the wrong country. 8% have hreflang tags pointing to non-canonical . URLs 8% of domains have hreflang tags pointing to non-canonical URLs. Hreflang is one of many canonicalization signals that . Google uses to determine which version of a duplicate page it should index. In many . Cases I’ve looked at, the canonical tag was ignored in favor of the URL specified in hreflang. However.