Hreflang Definition & Meaning

What Is Hreflang?

Hreflang is an HTML attribute used to tell search engines about alternate versions of a web page for different languages and geographic regions.

The hreflang attribute was first introduced in December 2011 to help search engines detect a query’s language and display results in the same language before pages with similar content in other languages.

Hreflang is not a directive, and various SEO factors might push an alternate version of the page in a different language higher up in the search rankings than the one containing the hreflang attribute.

Placing the hreflang attribute into the page’s header, sitemap, or on-page markup will improve its SEO. Including more than one hreflang attribute per page is not advisable unless you want to display the same page to users in two or more countries.

It’s important to note that a hreflang attribute doesn’t affect the site’s organic traffic directly because its purpose is to help the search engine display content in the user’s preferred language. In doing so, the attribute decreases a website’s bounce rates and boosts its conversion rates by serving the correct page for the user’s language or geographic location.

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Go to the SEO Glossary to find more terms and definitions that relate to the field of search engine optimization.