I want to make a site with different versions for 2 countries, which have the same language. Then I need to do the same for another language.

Basically I want to have 6 versions of the site:

  1. UK English
  2. US English
  3. Default English ??

  4. Austrian German

  5. Germany German
  6. Default German

The question is, how do I define the "default" language versions, for any country with this language which isnt defined already?

I know there is x-default, but I think you can only use that once and it is for all languages and all countries.

1 Answer 1


If you don't have a specific locale, you can just specify the language. Google give an example here: rel="alternate" hreflang="x"

If you have several alternate URLs targeted at users with the same language but in different locales, it's a good idea to provide a generic URL for geographically unspecified users. For example, you may have specific URLs for English speakers in Ireland (en-ie), Canada (en-ca), and Australia (en-au), but want all other English speakers to see your generic English (en) page, and everyone else to see the homepage. In this case you should specify the generic English-language (en) page for searchers in, say, the UK. You can annotate this cluster of pages using a Sitemap file or using HTML link tags like this:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/en-ie” hreflang=”en-ie” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/en-ca” hreflang=”en-ca” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/en-au” hreflang=”en-au” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/en” hreflang=”en” />

So you could have:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/en-gb” hreflang=”en-gb” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/en-us” hreflang=”en-us” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/en” hreflang=”en” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/de-at” hreflang=”de-at” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/de-de” hreflang=”de-de” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/de” hreflang=”de” />
  • Note that you’ve used wrong quotation marks in the HTML (should be " instead of ).
    – unor
    Oct 18, 2013 at 9:36
  • 1
    Good spot, although that's copied and pasted from Google guidelines!
    – Max
    Oct 21, 2013 at 2:46

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