High This Hint is very important, and definitely warrants attention. Issue This Hint represents an error or problem that needs to be fixed.

Has outgoing hreflang annotations to broken URLs

This means that the URL in question has at least one outgoing hreflang annotation which returned as Not Found (4XX) or Error (5XX).

Why is this important?

This is problematic as it means that the hreflang equivalent URLs are inaccessible, which either means that the annotation is incorrect (e.g. typo) or the target page has been removed.

This may result in hreflang URLs not being discovered by search engines, or the hreflang instruction being ignored, which may cause URLs to be included in search results that are localised incorrectly.

What does the Hint check?

This Hint will trigger for any internal URL which contains hreflang annotations, where at least one of the hreflang URLs returns as Not Found (4XX) or Error (5XX).

Examples that trigger this Hint:

Consider the URL: https://example.com/page-a/

The Hint would trigger for this URL if it included an hreflang annotation:

<link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/us/page-a/" hreflang="en-us" />

where this hreflang page had a 500 (Internal Server Error) header response, when Sitebulb crawled it:

HTTP/... 500 Internal Server Error


or, where this hreflang page had a 404 (Not Found) header response, when Sitebulb crawled it:

HTTP/... 404 Not Found


Similarly, URLs with other 'error' statuses will trigger the Hint (i.e. any other 4XX or 5XX response).

How do you resolve this issue?

The first task is to determine which is the correct hreflang URL, ensuring that the issue is not down to a typo or simple script error.

Once you are sure that the URL being referenced is the correct one, you then need to make sure that the page responds with a 200 (OK) HTTP status. The page may have been removed - which might explain a 404 or 410 status - it which case you would need to find the page and republish it.

5XX errors indicate an issue with the server itself (rather than the website or the specific URL). Server errors affect access to your site, for search engines and users alike, and you really want to get to the bottom of why they occur - you may need to deal with a developer or server admin to understand what is causing the server errors.

Free 14 day trial.
Full, unrestricted access.
No credit card required.

Try Sitebulb for Free