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Google Officially Launches Webmaster Tools International Targeting
The new International Targeting reports within Google Webmaster Tools helps webmasters debug common issues with their implementation of href-lang. The markup enables Google and other search engines to serve the correct language or regional version of pages to searchers. But often, webmasters implement the annotations/markup incorrectly. The new International Targeting reports within Google Webmaster Tools helps webmasters fix those common issues.
The report helps webmasters identify two of the most common issues with hreflang annotations:
(1) Missing return links: annotations must be confirmed from the pages they are pointing to. If page A links to page B, page B must link back to page A, otherwise the annotations may not be interpreted correctly. For each error of this kind Google may report where and when Google detected them, as well as where the return link is expected to be.
(2) Incorrect hreflang values: The value of the hreflang attribute must either be a language code in ISO 639-1 format such as “es”, or a combination of language and country code such as “es-AR”, where the country code is in ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 format. In case Google indexing systems detect language or country codes that are not in these formats, Google will provide example URLs to help you fix them.
Google has also moved the geographic targeting setting to this location.