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Hreflang for sites with different domains

If you have two very similar sites in two different languages, you may wonder whether you need to implement hreflang. Will Google recognize both sites as ‘stand-alone’ websites, and is that what you want? While translated content isn’t considered duplicate content, it may still be worth your while to actively point users to the right domain with hreflang.

For those that aren’t well versed in technical SEO, implementing hreflang will probably take a lot of time and something might even break. If that’s the case for you, should you still go to great lengths to implement hreflang? I’ll dive into that in this Ask Yoast!

Moria Gur sent us her question on using hreflang:

I have two sites with two different domains for coloring pages, one in Hebrew and one in English. The images and text are similar (but in a different language). Should I use hreflang in this case? Or will Google recognize both as ‘stand-alone’ websites?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

When to use hreflang

“Well, yes, Google will recognize both as stand-alone websites and there’s nothing wrong with them. Adding hreflang might give you a bit of an edge on both sites, but it’s also a lot of work. So, if you’re doing well with both sites right now, I would not do that, just because all the work involved is probably more work than it will return in terms of investment.

If you are not doing too well, or one is doing much better than the other, then maybe it’s worthwhile trying that. And you could just try that on a subset of the pages, and hreflang those properly to the other one. Good luck!”

Read more: hreflang: The ultimate guide »

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5 Responses to Hreflang for sites with different domains

  1. Kingsley Felix
    Kingsley Felix  • 6 years ago


    Same problem with me, i wanted to use WP MU but due to conflicts with yoast and Multilingualpress i am considering this route but after reading this post am going ahead to implement it in the coming days.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Hi Kingsley, you’re right, it can be difficult to decide what to do. But if you’re convinced that your sites will benefit from hreflang, go for it and implement! Good luck :)

    BALACHANDAR I  • 6 years ago

    Nice explanations about hreflang and the necessity to use it. Thanks for writing this article.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      You’re welcome :) Hopefully, you can now make an informed decision about whether or not to use hreflang on your site!

  3. Halloween Masks
    Halloween Masks  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing such an informative article.

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