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Pubcon Vegas 2017 You're Going To Screw Up International SEO - Patrick Stox

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Patrick Stox's talk on international SEO and hreflang tagging at Pubcon Las Vegas 2017.

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Pubcon Vegas 2017 You're Going To Screw Up International SEO - Patrick Stox

  1. 1. #pubcon You’re Going To Screw Up Internationalization Presented by: Patrick Stox @patrickstox Technical SEO - IBM
  2. 2. #pubcon You’ve Got This Right?
  3. 3. #pubcon Can Anyone Answer This? Does Bing use the “content-language” meta tag? <meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-us">
  4. 4. #pubcon The Tag Is Non-Conforming The last reference was in 2011: https://blogs.bing.com/webmaster/2011/03/01/how-to-tell-
  5. 5. #pubcon Okay Cool, But Do They Use It?
  6. 6. #pubcon How Many Sites Use Hreflang Tags?
  7. 7. #pubcon Lots Of Common HREFLANG Issues SEMrush did a study of 20,000 websites: https://www.semrush.com/blog/the-most-common-hreflang-
  8. 8. #pubcon
  9. 9. #pubcon Is this wrong?
  10. 10. #pubcon No Errors In GSC With Underscores Looks like Google lets it slide, although standards and best practices say to use “–” instead of “_” https://twitter.com/dsottimano/status/867315538057474049
  11. 11. #pubcon
  12. 12. #pubcon Is This Wrong?
  13. 13. #pubcon You Don’t Need Self-Referencing Hreflang Tags Is it essential to have self-referencing hreflang tags? John Mueller: No. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjbaDP-P7PA&t=24m39s
  14. 14. #pubcon
  15. 15. #pubcon Is This Wrong?
  16. 16. #pubcon You Don’t Have To Use Absolute URLs https://twitter.com/JohnMu/status/702080129804189 696
  17. 17. #pubcon Is This Wrong? Questionable
  18. 18. #pubcon Even Tools Get Things Wrong X-default can be used for auto-redirecting, serving dynamic content, or as a language selector page.
  19. 19. #pubcon Even Tools Get Things Wrong X-default can be used for auto-redirecting, serving dynamic content, or as a language selector page. Example 1: https://technicalseo.com/seo- tools/hreflang/ marks a redirected x-default page as incorrect, but it’s the tool that’s wrong.
  20. 20. #pubcon Even Tools Get Things Wrong X-default can be used for auto-redirecting, serving dynamic content, or as a language selector page. Example 2: Screaming Frog says that there are no return links on any x-default that’s auto-redirected. Of course there aren’t, it’s redirected, but it’s the tool that’s wrong.
  21. 21. #pubcon No One Believes You When a tool says it’s wrong and you say it’s not.
  22. 22. #pubcon Things Get Even More Fun • Millions of pages • Multiple CMS’s • Multiple Infrastructures • Redirects
  23. 23. #pubcon Wasn’t It Hard Enough?
  24. 24. #pubcon All On One Page Googlebot crawls from the US, putting all versions of content on one page just means they only see one version.
  25. 25. #pubcon Redirecting Users With Some Logic Geo-IP, cookies, whatever is also bad. This pretty much means Google sees only one version again, even if you have more.
  26. 26. #pubcon Redirecting Users With Some Logic Geo-IP, cookies, whatever is also bad. This pretty much means Google sees only one version again, even if you have more. If you see the wrong language in your titles or meta descriptions, it’s probably this.
  27. 27. #pubcon Check Your Stack Encoding characters in URLs with UTF-8 is fine with Google, but there may be a point of failure in your tech stack where it is not supported.
  28. 28. #pubcon Page Serves From A Different URL Than How It’s Indexed Sometimes pages are offloaded with a 302 and a canonical set to the original URL to keep it indexed. You need the indexed version in your tags.
  29. 29. #pubcon Page Serves From A Different URL Than How It’s Indexed If anyone still uses an m. it looks like you will need to point the hreflang tags on the m. to the desktop version for the upcoming mobile-first index, maybe?
  30. 30. #pubcon Tags In Multiple Places? • HTTP Header • <head> • Sitemap
  31. 31. #pubcon Tags In Multiple Places? Where? • From CMS? • From server? • Injected with JS? • Coming from theme?
  32. 32. #pubcon <head> Break http://ohgm.co.uk/hreflang-tags-not-respected-how- to-solve/ They moved hreflang tags above some JS because Google wasn’t inspecting them, but why did that work?
  33. 33. #pubcon <head> Break http://ohgm.co.uk/hreflang-tags-not-respected-how- to-solve/ They didn’t inspect the DOM. If they did, they’d likely see that the JS broke the <head> section early and the hreflang tags were being treated as if they were in the <body>.
  34. 34. #pubcon <head> Break http://ohgm.co.uk/hreflang-tags-not-respected-how- to-solve/ You can’t have hreflang tags in the body because they could be used for hijacking.
  35. 35. #pubcon Duplicate Pages Are The Worst For hreflang to work, A has to reference B and B has to reference A. If 2 pages are duplicates, Google can fold them together and only one will be indexed.
  36. 36. #pubcon Duplicate Pages Are The Worst How can you have A>B and B>A if Google thinks A=C and A isn’t indexed? https://productforums.google.com/forum/#! msg/webmasters/ezMvrlRWuDk/6XWuM1fIDgA https://www.youtube.com/watch? time_continue=83&v=isW-Ke-AJJU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isW-Ke- AJJU&t=27m15s
  37. 37. #pubcon It Can Take Months For Google To Crawl All Versions
  38. 38. #pubcon Everyone Wants A Quick Fix No one wants to hear it’s fixed, but now you have to wait. If the wrong version shows, it’s not fixed in their minds. “Can’t you call someone at Google?” “Can’t we pay someone to fix this?”
  39. 39. #pubcon Advice:
  40. 40. #pubcon Check Everything Repeatedly
  41. 41. #pubcon Expect Things To Break
  42. 42. #pubcon You’ll Never Get It Right Manually Automate tags – middleware connecting systems Automated testing
  43. 43. #pubcon @patrickstox

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