Debunking Hreflang Myths in SEO
Debunking Hreflang Myths in SEO

Every SEO expert in the Search Engine Optimization UAE sector might have heard of hreflang, and how it helps reach overseas market via SEO. However, hreflang can be effective only when it’s implemented in the right way. If it’s implemented in the wrong way, things can go bad fast. 

The online marketing Dubai industry also has a few bad apples; companies that know what works but don’t know how to make them work. Some of them recommend websites to use hreflang to make a mark on overseas market, and the websites end up implementing hreflang with serious errors that threaten the growth of their business. 

SEMrush’s research report also revealed that over 70% of hreflang implementations ended up with serious errors. The support guides from Google often make things more confusing for SEOs, while Google’s instructions and suggestions are misinterpreted by many SEOs. 

Let’s address a few popular hreflang misconceptions that deter optimizers from giving hreflang a shot. 

Myth: Hreflang should only be used on the home page of the site

Many websites still only use hreflang tags on their home pages. This misconception probably came out of the sample code shared by Google where we see the use of hreflang on the home page version of a URL. 

Hreflang must be added to any page that either has an alternate version or is included in an xml sitemap. 

Myth: Adding multiple codes to the hreflang= syntax to save lines of code

Some websites add multiple country and language codes to the syntax in order to reduce the number of xml sitemap entries, falsely believing that this is an effective SEO tactic.

On the contrary, it is not. Google made it clear that you need to create a separate URL element for each URL. 

Myth: Rel=Canonical should be set to the global site

Doing this would result in quick removal of your local language pages. This is probably the most common mistake associated with hreflang that companies make. The rel=canonical must always point to the local language page it is on. Pointing to any other page would get that page blocked. 


If your website has two landing pages with the same kind of content but for two different audiences, say 1 for UK and 1 for US audience, you should use hreflang to separate them, or one of the sites could get blocked for duplicate content. The rel=canonical should point to the local language page only. 

There are even more misconceptions associated with the use of hreflang, and not all be covered in a single article. If you require aid in implementing hreflang and devising a sound SEO strategy to meet your overseas business goals, you can approach a reliable SEO consultant Dubai that has experience handling hreflang for websites before.