Multilingual Content Markup now Active in Google
Google added another link markup that will help webmasters stay away from the duplicate content issue, we are talking about multilingual content markup. This can work in two examples, first one is different variations of the same language, like UK and US English or for websites featuring different languages.
The markup is very simple, it is advised to be used along with rel=”canonical” tag to make sure Google follows up on the main version, but the new tag itself should be more than sufficient and should help with regional rankings as well. Here is an excerpt taken from Google blog post:
“http://www.example.com/ – contains the general homepage of a website, in Spanish
http://es-es.example.com/ – is the version for users in Spain, in Spanish
http://es-mx.example.com/ – is the version for users in Mexico, in Spanish
http://en.example.com/ – is the generic English language version
On all of these pages, we could use the following markup to specify language and optionally the region:
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”es” href=”http://www.example.com/” />
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”es-ES” href=”http://es-es.example.com/” />
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”es-MX” href=”http://es-mx.example.com/” />
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en” href=”http://en.example.com/” />”
Alternate tag shows the alternative version of the same page and hreflang tag allows the search engines to figure out which region to target.