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So as far as I know, one of the most important use cases, and basically the whole point of hreflang is to be able to control which domain should rank where when it is not obvious.

I notice that from time to time, google ignores and overwrites my self referring canonical and canonizes one cctld page to another (eg. .de to .at).

This doesn't seem to make any sense. How can I nudge google to do it the right way? Are the self referring canonicals confusing google?

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It is indeed a very annoying behavior of Google.

In a case i personally experienced Google kicked from austrian index the site example.at and ranked instead example.de (both have the same language - german).

The cause of ignoring hreflang and deindexing of one ccTLD was explained with "the content of sites hreflang="de-de" and "de-at" is too similar to maintain both versions in index". It was recommended to merge both sites.

Finally i got the .at-site back into austrian index through making a substantial dose of unique content. - Maybe it will help you too.

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