AUGUST 02, 2016 BY BILL HUNT
We first wrote about HREFLang and Regional Site Management last year when we saw a number of incorrect implementations around Asia Pacific. We have had a rash of questions as our HREFLang Checker is flagging this as a possible warning to ensure that you have not set this incorrectly.
In a perfect world, a site would have unique local language content for each market they target. For those in the real world, they often lump similar language regions into the same site. The most common are South and Central America wrapped into a single Spanish language “LATAM site and Asia covered by an English language “APAC” site.
Since these are in Spanish and English they are often duplicates of another single market site. As they can be perceived as duplicates by search engines we need to integrate them into our HREFLang strategy.
Option 1 – Regional Site set for Single Market
Eliminates the potential for duplicate content
Search engines will assign this site to the single local market and you may not get exposure in other countries in the region.
With this option, you would just make the regional site equal to a country in the region and add it to the rest of the local market tags or HREFLang Site Map.
Option 2 – Regional Site Set For Multiple Local Markets
Eliminates the potential for duplicate content & does not isolate the regional site to a single market
Additional effort to maintain
Increased text in HTML page unless you manage with XML site map
A great example of this implementation is Outbrain. They have a single site for Latin America and the Caribbean region. They also have a /es Spanish langauge site that they are reserving for Spain. They have mapped each of the countries they want to target in the area to the regional page.