Hreflang tags with a link to redirect to a different page alert that the URL is invalid and returns a 3xx status code.
What Does “Redirecting Hreflang Link Issue” Mean?
Hreflang tag notifies search engines that there are page versions in different languages corresponding to different regions. The redirecting issue is followed by the returning HTTP status code report 3xx (301, 302, etc.) instead of 200, which means an error. In such cases, one URL redirects to another URL which causes an indexing inconsistency.
Google Search Centre provides detailed instructions on how to localize versions of your page properly. Learn how to add correct HTML tags, alternate URLs, add default versions, and more.
Also, you watch a corresponding video tutorial by Maile Ohye from Google to learn hreflang implementation best practices.
What triggers this issue?
A redirecting issue in hreflang annotations happens when search engines are “confused” due to an indexing inconsistency. Hreflang links need to lead to canonical URLs, not to redirected ones. All versions of your webpage should be equivalent to working properly. Therefore, the main cause of redirecting hreflang link error is wrong indexing.
How to check the issue?
Check if any URLs with outgoing hreflang annotations are redirecting. If so, you will be reported an HTTP 3xx respond code. Before fixing this issue, make sure to check if your URL has no mistakes.
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Why is this important?
Hreflang redirecting error results from incorrect indexing instruction. Accordingly, this error can seriously impact your search results and the availability of your page. When trying to access, visitors will be linked to an incorrect version of your web page.
Besides, a redirect error will decrease the page’s searchability. Certain URLs won’t be indexed.
How to fix the issue?
First of all, determine which URL is causing the error. Then, if the hreflang tag still links to an appropriate language, replace the invalid URL with the new one. If the determined URL does not correspond to the required language, you should correct hreflang annotations. Make sure they’re pointing to the appropriate URL.