An SEO professional was concerned about their hreflang international targeting.
They set up a business for the past 10 or 15 years or so. They have a dot com in the United States. And recently in the past two years, they started on India, Australia, and Mexico.
They also purchased some ccTLDs, and set up a different website.
However, they ended up getting business from the United States version, but they haven’t set up any hreflang for the other websites. They also have no authority for India, Australia, and Mexico.
Their main question to John Mueller was: should they add the hreflang tags to these sites and will it help their ranking?
John Mueller answered that no, the hreflang tag would not change any rankings of these pages.
The only function of this tag is to make sure that the preferred version is actually shown in the search results.
If different country versions exist, such as if they are in English or the same language, then hreflang makes it easier for Google to understand and show the best matching page for the user’s search query.
If you’re seeing the wrong version in the search results, then it’s a strong sign that the hreflang is going to be useful and could be a solution to the problem.
This happens at approximately the 14:11 mark in the video.