Incorrect Language or Country Codes

Another big batch of errors comes from the incorrect coding of language or region codes.   The two most common ones are designations for the United Kingdom and Japan. Nearly every website uses “/uk” to designate their UK pages. However, for the HREFLang element you must use the country/region ISO code for the UK, which is actually “GB.”

Similar problem with Japan, nearly every HREFLang developed for Japanese pages use JP, which is the country code, but the language code is “JA” and that is what must be used to designate Japanese language.
When developing your HREFLang elements ensure that you, or the tool you use, is correctly mapped to the language and country. You can validate this using the list of languages using ISO 6391-1 and for regions/countries which use the ISO 3166-1 format. There are many other smaller problems and nuances with the HREF element, and it is best that you review all of the criteria and understand the implications of using this element as explained by Google in their HREF Language Support page.

Another big batch of errors comes from the incorrect coding of language or region codes.   The two most common ones are designations for the United Kingdom and Japan. Nearly every website uses “/uk” to designate their UK pages. However, for the HREFLang element you must use the country/region ISO code for the UK, which is actually “GB.”

Similar problem with Japan, nearly every HREFLang developed for Japanese pages use JP, which is the country code, but the language code is “JA” and that is what must be used to designate Japanese language.

When developing your HREFLang elements ensure that you, or the tool you use, is correctly mapped to the language and country. You can validate this using the list of languages using ISO 6391-1 and for regions/countries which use the ISO 3166-1 format. There are many other smaller problems and nuances with the HREF element, and it is best that you review all of the criteria and understand the implications of using this element as explained by Google in their HREF Language Support page.


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