The Difference 5 Years Makes

No more than 30 minutes after I posted an article detailing SEOs’ frustrations implementing hreflang, Facebook reminded me that I had posted a similar frustration on a Friday five years earlier. Funny, Facebook wanted to create a donate button when I posted the observation. I should have taken them up and maybe made a GoFundMe for the overworked DevOps team that cannot even consider fixing their infrastructure.

Interestingly, five years ago, I saw this dysfunction and the lack of hreflang implementation for global sites as an opportunity. We were very successful, especially with our full-service programs managing everything, including regular XML sitemaps. As more web teams looked at cutting costs, they went with offshoring this work or stopping it altogether.

Today, I find it much harder to be enthusiastic and willing to chase windmills. We face even more challenges, including many SEOs begging Google to eliminate hreflang support.

As I recount in the frustrations article, most of our challenges are still present, coupled with the apathy and hate of SEOs. I am not quite ready to burn bridges and highlight specific dysfunction cases, but I will try to outline some of them as broadly as possible.

Why do we have chaos?

There are many reasons we have the dysfunction I describe in the SEO frustrations article. I have been trying to document it, explain why, and suggest ways to solve it. I created an entire chapter in the Implementing Hreflang course to try and help people anticipate the challenges and offer ways to overcome them.

Decentralized Structures

Selling Hreflang Builder

I am beyond proud of what we did with Hreflang Builder. During the code review, the acquiring company’s developer was amazed at how complex the logic and functionality were. Like most, he assumed it was a rudimentary set of language and country codes and pairing up a set of URLs. He now realizes why we don’t have any competitors.