I'm slightly stumped, with one of my websites.

The hreflang appears to be installed correctly and the majority of the regions are targetted in the international targeting report, apart from with EU as I can't target the whole of Europe.

However, multiple regions are still being indexed and Google does not recognise it in the language report


Your site has no hreflang tags. Google uses hreflang tags to match the user's language preference to the right variation of your pages.

I used https://technicalseo.com/tools/hreflang/ the error was

Missing region-independant link for that language (en)

& http://hreflang.ninja

Language-region code has no standalone language code


Your site has no hreflang tags. Google uses hreflang tags to match the user's language preference to the right variation of your pages.

Has anyone got any thoughts on what it could be?

<!-- US -->

<link rel="alternate" href="https://www.example.com/us/" hreflang="en-US" />

<!-- Canada -->

<link rel="alternate" href="https://www.example.com/ca/" hreflang="en-CA" />

<!-- UK -->

<link rel="alternate" href="https://www.example.com/uk/" hreflang="en-GB" />

<!-- Europe -->

<link rel="alternate" href="https://www.example.com/eu/" hreflang="en-DE" />

<!-- Int -->

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="https://www.example.com/int/" />
  • 1
    Missing region-independant link for that language (en) should mean that you need to define a fallback for english hreflang"en" without specifying a country. Have you included the language of the current page inside the html tag via the lang attribute?
    – Pit
    Sep 24, 2019 at 5:21
  • Nope, I just checked. the Lang attribute at the top of the head is empty. Would this have any effect on the hreflangs? Doesn't hreflang="x-default" cover the fallback?
    – seo4lyf
    Sep 24, 2019 at 5:28
  • Welcome to Webmasters!
    – closetnoc
    Sep 24, 2019 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


From what you mentioned in your original post, one of the errors is "Missing region-independant link for that language (en)"... "region-independant" seems pretty straightforward. You only list "en-CA", "en-US" and not "en". So the way to fix that mistake is to add:

<!-- EN -->
<link rel="alternate" href="https://www.example.com/us/" hreflang="en" />

Both tools you used reported the same error. Try that fix and see if it improves. ;)

PS : Pit mentioned above using the lang attribute but it is not enough.

  • Thanks for the response guys, I actually figured out the issue. Although these errors should be fixed, I don't think they are negatively affecting the hreflang, they are more of a best practice. The issue is far more annoying than hreflang. The websites have "Google-selected canonicals" on 50% of the pages, which is why other regions are displaying, I thought Google usually recognises hreflang which is meant to prevent this from happening. However it is not, every page indexed from another region that I checked was because it had this Google canonical applied. Over 50% of the pages.
    – seo4lyf
    Sep 25, 2019 at 1:57
  • Could it be that you have external websites linking to your regional pages and therefore more traffic on your regional pages rather than your main one. This could make google think that your regional pages are more important than your main one maybe no?
    – EdouardF
    Sep 25, 2019 at 8:19
  • To 'only list "en-CA", "en-US" and not "en"' is not in itself a mistake. I'd advise @seo4lyf to avoid using 3rd party SEO diagnostic tools wherever possible; they're often confusing or outright wrong.
    – GDVS
    Sep 25, 2019 at 17:09

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