Google Updates hreflang Documentation While I Was Offline

Jun 17, 2024 - 7:11 am 0 by

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Google has tweaked its hreflang search developer documentation to clarify that link tags for denoting alternate versions of a page must not be combined in a single link tag. Google said it wanted to document this "quirk" in its documentation.

The old documentation wrote:

Put your link tags near the top of the head element. At minimum, the link tags must be inside a well-formed head section, or before any items that might cause the head to be closed prematurely, such as p or a tracking pixel. If in doubt, paste code from your rendered page into an HTML validator to ensure that the links are inside the head element.

Now it reads:

The link tags must be inside a well-formed head section of the HTML. If in doubt, paste code from your rendered page into an HTML validator to ensure that the links are inside the head element. Additionally, don't combine link tags for alternate representations of the document; for example don't combine hreflang annotations with other attributes such as media in a single link tag.

Gary Illyes from Google posted on LinkedIn with more details. He said, "We made an update to our hreflang documentation to note that alternate page version references should not be combined into a single link HTML element."

"If that sentence was confusing, welcome to the club. Let's say you have an m-dot mobile version of your page, but also different language versions. You'd be tempted to do something like this:"

Here is a screenshot so you can see what he wrote fully:

Gary Illyes Hreflang Linkedin Post

Of course, there is this "This is not actually new, we just documented it now because Barry is out of office so he can't write about it."

Forum discussion at LinkedIn.

 

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