YulesB
YulesB asked
Member (0 upvotes)

x-default for international websites



We run several international websites. Some have the same languages, but different locations. The websites are for the same product but work totally independently - which means their site structure and content is often different and not translated directly (though some of the content is similar).


 


The problem:


 


One of these website is for GB with English as a language:


<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.co.uk" hreflang="en-gb"


We have also one global website, which is for users from languages/countries where there is no website available -  hreflang="en"


 


The problem we are having is that the global website (hreflang="en") is ranking higher in GB, which we want to avoid as the local website should rank in GB.


 


I thought to add the x-default attribute to the global website, but I was wondering if there are other options how to solve the ranking problem?


<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/" hreflang="x-default" />)


 


Also, I was researching but not sure if I understood everything correctly: Do I need to add the x-default attribute to the home page and all other pages where we have ranking problems or to all pages?


 


Thanks 



Avatar for member KnowOneSpecial
KnowOneSpecial
Moderator (80 upvotes)

First I would be using a single site... then all of your problems go away....

This "<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/" hreflang="x-default" />"

just sets everything to the US site basically.. you need to tweak it some...

Try this, it should solve your issues....

it sets the x default to the language of the county...

( Now understand you have to update all your hfeflang tags on every page.
  I would consider using the site map method of adding hreflang tags.  It
  eliminates having to  edit each page.  All the tags are in one place

         SEE EXAMPLE BELOW
)

Here are hreflang tags for 3 sites.. Uk, US and Germany

( edited to correct error in hreflang tags )

On your home page for  the British site...

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="-gb" href="https://example.co.uk"/>
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="-us" href="https://example.com"/>
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="-de" href="https://example.de"/>

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="https://example.co.uk"/>

Then on your home page your US site

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="-us" href="https://example.com"/>
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="-gb" href="https://example.co.uk"/>
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="-de" href="https://example.de"/>

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="https://example.com"/>

Then on your home page for  German site

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="-de" href="https://example.de"/>
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="-us" href="https://example.com"/>
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="-gb" href="https://example.co.uk"/>

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="https://example.de"/>

Now here is the most robust way to add to each site if on different domains.....

This uses the sitemap method..
Curtesy of Google....

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/crawling/localized-versions


Example

Here is an English language page targeted at English speakers worldwide, with equivalent versions of this page targeted at German speakers worldwide and German speakers located in Switzerland. Here are all the URLs present on your site:

  • www.example.com/english/page.html targeted at English speakers.
  • www.example.com/deutsch/page.html targeted at German speakers.
  • www.example.com/schweiz-deutsch/page.html targeted at German speakers in Switzerland.

Here is the sitemap for those three pages:

 
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"
 
xmlns:xhtml="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
 
<url>
   
<loc>https://www.example.com/english/page.html</loc>
   
<xhtml:link
               
rel="alternate"
               
hreflang="de"
               
href="https://www.example.com/deutsch/page.html"/>
   
<xhtml:link
               
rel="alternate"
               
hreflang="de-ch"
               
href="https://www.example.com/schweiz-deutsch/page.html"/>
   
<xhtml:link
               
rel="alternate"
               
hreflang="en"
               
href="https://www.example.com/english/page.html"/>
 
</url>
 
<url>
   
<loc>https://www.example.com/deutsch/page.html</loc>
   
<xhtml:link
               
rel="alternate"
               
hreflang="de"
               
href="https://www.example.com/deutsch/page.html"/>
   
<xhtml:link
               
rel="alternate"
               
hreflang="de-ch"
               
href="https://www.example.com/schweiz-deutsch/page.html"/>
   
<xhtml:link
               
rel="alternate"
               
hreflang="en"
               
href="https://www.example.com/english/page.html"/>
 
</url>
 
<url>
   
<loc>https://www.example.com/schweiz-deutsch/page.html</loc>
   
<xhtml:link
               
rel="alternate"
               
hreflang="de"
               
href="https://www.example.com/deutsch/page.html"/>
   
<xhtml:link
               
rel="alternate"
               
hreflang="de-ch"
               
href="https://www.example.com/schweiz-deutsch/page.html"/>
   
<xhtml:link
               
rel="alternate"
               
hreflang="en"
               
href="https://www.example.com/english/page.html"/>
 
</url>
</urlset>
Good advice?
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