I have an ecommerce site with different store views for different regions. In the UK there is a 'en-gb' locale version priced in GBP, in the US there is a 'en-us' version priced in USD and also a 'en' version for customers elsewhere that do live in the UK and US (the 'en' store is in Euros).

For each page there is a block of hreflang tags in the header with the different store views listed.

The SEO (Snake Oil Salesmen) company believe that I have to endure believe this is wrong and that the search engines will crawl the generic 'en' version rather than the 'en-us' version that would apply to the US (or the 'en-gb' version that would apply to the UK).

There is no reason evidence provided by the SEO marketering people to back up their claim and a brief Google search did not give any results.


If the hreflang tags are set correctly, then this is a non-issue. The language codes explicitly state the intended target region to Google. 'EN' is generally seen as un-targeted while the other language codes will appear prominently in their respective search domains (.co.uk and .com).

It is stated in best practice that (assuming you use the same domain for all of it) the URL should reflect the territory by including the language code. Either as a sub-domain or part of the directory structure.

Personally, I use multiple domains that each have a target region. If someone uses a non-English language engine (google.de) to try and find my brand name: It tends to pick the strongest domain overall and will often list multiple domains from different regions. There doesn't appear to be an easy way to suggest an international version. Google will just pull what it thinks is most relevant to that user. I target my Euro business to my EN-IE Irish domain and it goes down quite well.

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