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I have 3 types of pages on my site:

example.com/ru/about
example.com/en/about
example.com/about

pages with ru are in Russian, pages with en are in English, but page with none of those can be both in Ru and En, depending on $_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE'].

Now, Google says me that I have no return tags from /ru/ to /, because hreflangs from /ru/ leads to /en/.

What shoud I do in this situation? I suppose completely remove all hreflangs from / version?

Thanks a lot!

Example

Let's pretend visitor is from Russia. Then a / page will be in Russian for him and will contain hreflang to /en/. But hreflang into /en/ leads to /ru/ version instead of /, as Google wants.

http://example.com/ - RU

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://example.com/en/">

http://example.com/ru/ - RU

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://example.com/en/">

http://example.com/en/ - EN

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://example.com/ru/">

P.S. There is a live example, please don't consider it as an advert.

  • Would you mind giving an example of the hreflang links you implemented for your URLs for better understanding. – Seb May 20 '16 at 7:14
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What shoud I do in this situation? I suppose completely remove all hreflangs from / version?

This will eleminate the errors but is not the best choice for dealing whith your multi-language website.

Your Website actually has two languages available: EN and RU.

You decided to make use of language directories which is good. Actually there is no need of serving the same content outside of the language directories, as a user can only choose between RU or EN.

  1. Decide which language is the standard language you serve

As already stated you have two versions of your page. I guess it would be okay to show the english version to everyone who does not apply to Russian language.

  1. Implement 302 redirection based on ACCEPT_LANGUAGE

Leverage ACCEPT_LANGUAGE for 302 redirecting Russian language users to the /ru/ -directory URLs. Google will undestand you're redirecting users based on their ACCEPT_LANGUAGE settings.

  1. avoid serving other than Language-Directory URLs

Make sure you do not serve URLs outside your language directories. Your homepage will be www.example.com/en/ an redirection will be applied as stated in step 2.

  1. Implement hreflang

Implementing hreflang following this scheme:

for http://example.com/en/

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://example.com/en/">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ru" href="http://example.com/ru/">

for http://example.com/ru/

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://example.com/en/">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ru" href="http://example.com/ru/">

See: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077


Generally you can serve different language content on the same URL without using the language directories as Google is able to understand ACCEPT_LANGUAGE variations. See: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6144055?hl=en

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