Hi, Would using hreflang (sitemap) / sub-directories help with international Google rankings (SEO) for English speaking countries like Australia, UK, Canada, Ireland? https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en For example, based on Google's example in the link above would using "en-ca", "en-au", "en-ie", etc. for my hreflang tag in my sitemap and as the sub-directories help with my rankings on international Google sites? Or should I just use "en" / "x-default" for Australia, UK, Canada, Ireland? <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-ie" hreflang="en-ie" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-ca" hreflang="en-ca" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-au" hreflang="en-au" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en" hreflang="x-default" /> Thank you!
The language annotations are a best practices conducive to a better organization of your web pages within country and language SERPs. They won't provide higher rankings.
They will, however, produce a better experience for users who will find content that is intended for certain geographies, so if by "better" this is what you were asking, then it could be. Typically, if you succeed with your SEO program in country-specific campaigns, chances are that the localized versions of the content will also rank in the local version of Google.
The example above is correct.