Google Webmaster Tools has recently announced the addition of a new reporting feature to help webmaster’s troubleshoot rel-alternate-hreflang annotations (an attribute that communicates with Google if there are requirements for alternate languages on a web page).

The Language section of the International Targeting page provides an insight on errors from hreflang links throughout your website.

Google Webmaster Tools

When you set up hreflang tags, Google finds them on your site and eventually crawls the corresponding URLs referred to by the tags, reporting errors on the originating pages and missing return links on the destination pages once they are crawled.

This also helps you to maintain a healthy global presence so that search results for your visitors display the language and country variant you want them to see.

For example, if you manage three international sites, and you want to monitor errors for the Spanish site, you’d choose the Spanish version from the site selector (e.g. www.example.es) to see all language variants for that site with return errors.

How to Use hreflang Tag

On using hreflang tag Google will be able to display the correct language right in the search results. In order to ensure that the correct content is displayed you will need to add the appropriate tags into the code for each page. Below are examples of hreflang annotations for English, French and Spanish.

< link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/en/test.htm” hreflang=”en” />
< link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/fr/test.htm” hreflang=”fr” />
< link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/sp/test.htm” hreflang=”es” />

Image Credit: Kinklogik