What Does "Redirecting hreflang link" Mean?

Hreflang tags that link to URLs that return an HTTP 3xx response code and redirect to a different page.

Hreflang is a way to tell search engines that there are multiple versions of a page in different languages. This will help search engines serve visitors the most appropriate version of each URL by language or region.

Here's an example of hreflang tags for https://example.com/en-us/products, which is an English page targeting visitors in the United States that also has an English version targeting United Kingdom, a French version, a German version, and a default version available:

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-us" href="https://example.com/en-us/products" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-gb" href="https://example.com/en-gb/products" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="fr" href="https://example.com/fr/products" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href="https://example.com/de/products" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="https://example.com/products" />

All hreflang links must be to canonical URLs. Redirected URLs are by definition never canonical.

Why It's Important

If the URL in a hreflang tag is not a valid page, search engines may ignore the tag completely. If this happens, it's possible search engines will get confused and the wrong version of the page could be ranked in a particular region or language.

For example, visitors from the UK could be served links to the US version of the page on search engines, or visitors from France could be served links to the Switzerland version.

How To Fix

For each URL follow the redirect of hreflang URL to see what the final destination URL is. If this final URL represents the correct language/region for this hreflang tag, replace the hreflang URL of this tag with this final URL. If the final destination URL is not the correct URL for this language/region, find the best URL for this one to replace it or remove the tag completely. In either case, whichever URL you choose for this hreflang tag, ensure you create a reciprocal hreflang tag on this page as well.

Hreflang can be complicated. We recommend carefully reading Google's guidelines on hreflang and testing thoroughly before implementing any changes.

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