Hreflang, Canonical & Alternate Tags for Canadian Web Sites

Hreflang, Canonical & Alternate Tags for Canadian Web Sites
Hreflang, Canonical & Alternate Tags for Canadian Web Sites

Canadian Web Sites Locaization for SEO

Localization is something that can be a global or local consideration or both. For Canadian site owners looking to be compliant for Canadian English, French Canadian and US English, the following code snippet should help to demystify header compliance;

<link rel="canonical" href=""/>
<link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="en-us"/>
<link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="fr-ca"/>
<link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="en-ca"/>

Canonical Tags

These are pretty simple in essence its the parent page, when content is considered, if you don’t have these within your site, slap yourself in the face and go call your SEO. The assumption here is that has a /ca/ & /us/ subfolder, this could equally be a subdomain or even another domain or a combo of each, confused yet?

Alternate Tags

No prizes for guessing these ones. Alternate Tags are tags that tell the search engine that an alternate version of the page is located somewhere else. ‘What’s the point in that’ you say? Well alone it would be as helpful as a water proof tea bag, coupled with hreflang it gives a reliable way to do a few things, which I will get to.

Hreflang Tags

You might now of a href from a link, I personally have always pondered what this acronym meant, and you can see some info on it here from Ryan Tomayko, his story is pretty cool. Anyway the hreflang piece here gives an indication of the language, for Canadian sites, the following are the triad of lang; en-us, en-ca & fr-ca.

Combined Results

Together you now have a well connected header, you should in theory now be serving US content to US users who speak English, the same for Canadians and of course for French speaking Canadians. There is an XML component tat can also be added to your sitemap_index.xml, if you have one to further reinforce all this. Checkout the links below to get some more info.

Further Reading

Some more info to help you get in-depth on all these points;

  1. Google’s Take on Href Lang
  2. Other random Google info for international landing pages
  3. Yandex (Russian Search Engine) info on Href Lang
  4. Wikipedia only has a German entry for this, easily translated
  5. Some caution about the automation of this, so check it out

Let me know if you find any other nice articles or similar posts to this and I can update the list.

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