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Effects of hreflang on language neutral brand terms

11:35 am on May 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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joined:May 2, 2014
posts: 2
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i'm implementing hreflang on my site but i'm unsure on how it will affect language neutral brand queries. (e.g. the way people search for brand terms is the same despite what their native language is).

I have two domains;

example.co.uk (targeting any english speaker)
example.de (targeting any german speaker)

this is how I imagine the href lang code to be....

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href=" http://www.example.de/" />

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href=" http://www.example.co.uk/" />

How does google detect what language version of a page to show for a language neutral brand term? is the detection based on more than the query? e.g. IP? browser preference?

e.g. if a german speaker searches for '[insert english brand name]' will they be shown the .co.uk site or would they be served the more relevant german lang version?

Also, how would this effect an english speaker using google.de?

thanks in advance
3:31 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

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joined:Apr 30, 2008
votes: 191

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, walker1234!

I have this situation, but using folders within the same site. If on Google.de (using German as a language on Google) I search for a language neutral brand name, then I get:

- German home page example.com/de/ as a result #1, with mega sitelinks below, all these being German pages
- English home page example.com as result #2, together with Places marker

So I think when language neutral brand term is searched for, if it is searched on German google, where google language was in German, it will show a page with German language that contains that brand term.

The above was google.de in German. If I change the language on google.de to be English, I get English home page example.com. I do not get example.com/de/ at all.

This is regardless of how my browser language is set up (in both cases the browser language was English)

Of course, external links may change this a bit (for example, a number of German links to English home page may result in English home page being shown on German language google.de)

So to me, what you are intending to do with hreflang seems fine.

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