Our homepage has two versions:


The first being in French, the second English. Both versions have been online for many weeks.

Searching on Google or Bing from their .FR domains yields no results for the French version of the page. Yet doing a site:construct.net on the English version of Google returns:

enter image description here

Meta tags on French page:

<html lang="fr-FR">
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.construct.net/fr" />
<meta rel="alternate" href="https://www.construct.net/fr" hreflang="fr" />
<meta rel="alternate" href="https://www.construct.net/en" hreflang="en" />
<meta rel="alternate" href="https://www.construct.net/en-us" hreflang="en-US" />

Meta tags on English page:

<html lang="en-US">
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.construct.net/en" />
<meta rel="alternate" href="https://www.construct.net/en" hreflang="en" />
<meta rel="alternate" href="https://www.construct.net/fr" hreflang="fr" />
<meta rel="alternate" href="https://www.construct.net/fr-fr" hreflang="fr-FR" />

My questions are:

  • Have I correctly set up the meta tags?
  • If not should Google even be showing the French alternative version in the English results?
  • Why is the French version showing up higher than the English homepage in the above results?
  • 2
    Site: search results are special beasts. The order often doesn't make sense. Does this happen for any real English language queries as well? Mar 23, 2019 at 21:38
  • "no results for the French version of the page." - By "the page" are you literally referring to just the home page? A quick browse of your site appears to show very little actual French-language content. Most of the /fr/... URLs have English content (with French navigation) - essentially duplicating the /en/... page - and do not have hreflang tags. So, currently, it looks like a predominantly English-language site with a bunch of "duplicate content"?
    – MrWhite
    Mar 25, 2019 at 0:17
  • 1
    @MrWhite some pages are available in French, these ones are marked correctly I believe in their meta tags as such. EG: construct.net/fr construct.net/fr/make-games/games-editor construct.net/fr/make-games/buy-construct-3 construct.net/fr/make-games/faq If you browse a page that's not translated, EG: construct.net/fr/make-games/education it will keep the fr in the URL so that it loads French on other pages if available but shows English content (canonical will point to /en page)
    – Tom Gullen
    Mar 25, 2019 at 11:02

1 Answer 1


To answer your questions:

  • If you do not have localized country-specific versions of your site live at the https://www.construct.net/en-us and https://www.construct.net/fr-fr URLs, then remove those lines. By just having en and fr, they will act as a catchall for all language regions.

  • Google shouldn't be showing the French version in normal English results, but it may show them in site: results like in your example. Like Stephen mentioned, are you seeing the French version appear for any natural English language queries? If the French version does not appear for natural English language queries, then your site is configured properly. Google's site: queries are a tool to show all the URLs that Google has indexed on your domain, so it makes sense that they would include foreign language URLs - think of site: as a debugging/technical tool rather than a tool that is reflective of normal queries.

  • For site: queries, there is no natural language that the search engine can read to understand the user's intent. Therefore the results are presented in an order that may not make much sense, and may include results that would not be presented to a real user searching with a normal language query - this is expected behavior. Because effectively zero real users arrive on a site by searching with a site: query, the quirkiness of the site: query will not affect your actual SERP presence, so is a non-issue.

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