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I run a 2 Shopify stores with SSL enabled (one for the UK and one for Ireland) and have recently implemented hreflang tags as the content is broadly similar on both sites, bar prices and some region specific content.

Since activating SSL, Search Console has been throwing errors stating a number of URLs have 'no return tags':

Search Console hreflang error screenshot

Interestingly, all of the 'alternate URLs' are actually for the non-SSL version of the site.

My steps thus far:

  • Added the 4 variants of both sites to search console (http / https, www / bare)
  • Added both www and bare versions of each domain to their respective Shopify stores
  • Enabled the Redirect all traffic to this domain option in both stores, selecting the www option.
  • Enabled SSL in both stores
  • Implemented hreflang tags in the Liquid templates (you can see an example by viewing the source of this page
  • Checked that Shopify is doing a 301 redirect, not 302, from non-SSL to SSL (it is).
  • Resubmitted the homepages for indexing via Fetch as Google, then submitting the link and all its direct links

I'm at a loss here as to whether I've coded the hreflang tags wrong, if Google is being slow to pick up on changes, or if Shopify is doing something weird.

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Hreflang tags are implemented correctly on the page that you linked to. The most likely scenario IMO is that Google has not finished crawling all pages.

So for example, the old scenario was: http://page1/uk and http://page1/ie were in 1 cluster. Now both pages have moved to HTTPS. So the cluster is https://page1/uk and https://page1/ie.

Now say Google crawls http://page1/uk and discovers this page now redirects to https://page1/uk, and here it finds the new (HTTPS) cluster. So http://page1/ie just lost its return tag. When Google eventually crawls http://page1/ie and finds that it now redirects to https://page1/ie, I think your errors will resolve.

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