I am working on Multilingual site targeting different languages in one country. So, English version site has many pages while there are comparatively less pages on the FR version of the site.

we have change language toggle in the top header which works as a cross linking between these languages. As per best SEO practice we are linking the page in English language to the correct version of the URL in French language (not to the French homepage). However, since there are less pages on the French section of the site, not every page in English has a same page in French.

Ex - We have Auto section on English and Cars as a sub category in the Auto section. Now, in French we have Auto section but no car section. Since the language change button is sitewide (header) and if we are on English car page, what should we add as an alternative URL for French?

Few solutions come to mind -

  1. Add the closely related URL i.e. Auto french page?
  2. Add the FR homepage URL? Since there is no alternative page for Car in french.

2 Answers 2


I think the best would be to hide the language toggle menu when the conter part page does not exist.

But I recommend having a counter part page in French for all pages. I don't see a reason for not having he same sections in both langages. If it is because the French translation is not available, at least put the content in English with a warning (in French) saying Sorry this page is not available in French (Désolé, cette page n'est pas disponible en français).

  • Thanks Dominique for the reply, I am definitely going to talk with the client to create those french pages, I mean why not. And as an alternative solution put homepage as the french version.
    – NRose
    Jun 20, 2017 at 14:58

I recommend implementing <hreflang> tags on your pages. It can be a long process, but it can be worth it for SEO. Every time you create a new international page, be sure to implement these meta tags.

Read the Moz spec here:


Those pages which have no alternative international counterparts can use the x-default meta tag. As Moz tells it:

"If your page serves up content in a variety of languages or just asks a user to select a preferred page, you can use x-default to show that the page is not specifically targeted."

Yoast SEO puts it slightly differently:

"The x-default value specifies where a user should be sent if none of the languages you’ve specified in your other hreflang links match their browser settings."

Remember to place the full set of tags - the tag that references itself plus all the tags that reference alternative language pages - on each page. So if you have 3 pages, there should be three tags, and this set should live on every page. For pages that don't have a counterpart, use the x-default tag.

  • Thanks Henryvisotski for the reply. We are using hreflang tags as you suggested here. I liked the idea of using x-default on pages without any alternative counterpart, however my main question was how to show someone if they click on french on the header part and there is no french version of that page. After going through @DominiqueH reply, I think it makes sense to have those pages created, I mean yeah why there is no french version for a particular English page. If thats not happening then pointing link to the homepage looks better.
    – NRose
    Jun 20, 2017 at 14:51
  • 1
    Also, pages which have no counterpart might not need hreflang tags but ofcourse we can add x-default.
    – NRose
    Jun 20, 2017 at 14:57
  • Absolutely - you only need hreflang if there is a counterpart. Otherwise, x-default will suffice, especially if you end up not hiding the toggle. Jun 20, 2017 at 15:03

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