JULY 31, 2016 BY BILL HUNT
We are starting to see more and more of these errors where the site uses the same alternate URL for each of its entries. The image below will help make the problem clearer. We believe it is one of the free tools that is causing the problem but not sure which one. While developing the screen captures for using Screaming Frog to test HREFLang mark-up it appeared the pages for each country were correct. They all had 24 sets of markup. Once I put the URL’s into HREFLang Checker we find that while we find HREFLang markup on each page it all of them point to the same URL.
When we look at the source code we see they have set used the same URL for every entry. Essentially telling search engines that the /jp version of the page is the page for all 24 countries.
Going to the French language France page, we find the same thing, the /fr page has been used as a reference for all entries.
Even stranger, we check one more and go to the German page and find that it is correct. Each country is referenced correctly.
This is why we suggest taking a sampling of the pages and test them to make sure there are no other errors that Screaming Frog or other tools are not catching.