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Automatic sitemap, Weglot subdomains and SEO optimization

Hi

I’m setting up a site using Weglot for language translations, using the language subdomains feature in Weglot:

https://vendanor.com/ (original)
https://no.vendanor.com/ (translated)

The auto generated sitemap in Webflow does not take into account the “no.” subdomain added by Weglot, only the default domain added in Webflow.

Should I set up a manual sitemap that also includes the subdomain in Webflow? or Will Google automatically resolve this when indexing both the languages?

Best regards Christoffer

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Hi @Christoffer,

Eugene from Weglot.

Weglot adds hreflang tags on all your pages that will tell Google bots about the translated version of your website so it can be indexed. No need to do the manual sitemap. Your translated pages will be indexed automatically :slight_smile:

If it’s not the case, please contact our support team → support@weglot.com

Hi @eugene_weglot

Sorry for my late reply. Yes, the hreflang tags will technically tell Google bots about the language versions. But I have a client who is concerned that the missing sitemap (when adding the subdomain for the translated site in Google Search Console) will harm SEO performance on the translated site. The concern has also been addressed by a SEO company that will be running Google Ads campaigns on the site. As I understand it Google recommends that sitemaps should be made for all languages on multilingual sites?

Hi @Christoffer,

As explained here, Hreflang tags and Sitemap are equivalent ways to tell Google about localized versions of your website. Either way are perfectly fine and will not impact your SEO.

If you really want to add the hreflang tags to the sitemap, there are tools available like this one by Ahrefs to do so:

Lastly, if you add the website to the Google Search Console via the Domain property type, all subdomains will be visible in your search console:

Hope this helps!

Hi again @eugene_weglot

An update regarding our earlier discussion on multilingual sitemaps problems in Webflow/Weglot.

Although the site domain was registered in SearchConsole via the domain property and thereby includes all subdomains, SearchConsole does not recognize the relation between the custom sitemap submitted (including the URL’s with Weglot subdomains) and the actual URLs with Weglot subdomains. The result is that all page-URL’s with translated content have no submitted sitemap in SearchConsole.

I have strong indications that this is harming the SERP results for the translated pages. I’m also getting problems with translated URL’s showing not-translated titles and descriptions, but not sure if the is caused by the sitemap issue or other bugs (I have sent an email to Alexis on Weglot support regarding this issue).

Does you/Weglot have any pointers to what can solve this issue?

In general I think Weglot should rely address the issues with missing functionality for multilingual sitemap and URL translation for the Webflow platform.

Hi @Christoffer,

Looks like the subdomain is well indexed on Google (with titles translated):

Thank you for the feedback on the sitemap on Google Search Console. I’ll mention it to our product team. But as I said, Google only needs one of the 2 (sitemap or hreflang tags).

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Hi again @eugene_weglot

The problem is not with the actual indexing, it’s that Google seems to not separate the languages in the SERP results correctly. The reason for stressing the importance of the sitemap (with hreflang tags) was because Weglot is not able to set the correct/full hreflang URL-path on sub pages in the original non-translated site, resulting in a hreflang mismatch between translated and original page. Looks like we now have solved this by moving the hreflang tags to each page and manually setting the full URL-path.

It’s a bit early to say, but judging by the SERP performance after this changes, I think Weglot should review the setup instructions for Webflow as the instructions is harming the SEO, particularly the multilingual SERP results.

Ok, thank you @Christoffer.

Yes, we are fully aware of this limitation on Webflow. And as Alexis told you, we’ve created a tool to make it easier to generate the correct hreflang tags and add them to the original Webflow pages:

We hope to be able to offer an even better solution in the future.

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Yes, Alexis have been very helpful and also informed me about this. But I really think Weglot should inform the users about the problem with hreflang tags (and the Github hack solution) when setting up Weglot on Webflow in the first place, not after extensive dialogue with the support team after the problem have occurred :wink:

And yes you should really offer a better solution than the Github hack in the future, I suspect many Webflow users (me included) will not find the solution very user friendly to set up.

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@eugene_weglot While I have your attention, a slightly different thing on the same site:

When doing a search for a particular translated page, the Google SERP is showing part of a random(?) paragraph text far down on the page as the meta description, not the actual meta description set in the Weglot translations. Any clue on why this is happening?

On the original no-translated version of the site, the actual meta description is showing correctly in the SERP result.

For that, you need to ask Google :sweat_smile:

Google is choosing more and more what they want to show in the “description” below the title depending on what the user research is :slight_smile:

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From the things you mentioned, I trust only that SEO optimization is the best for digital marketing. People are always searching on Google and Bing for the products when they want to purchase, so why not making easier to find your services or products on the most popular searching-systems? This I why there are a lot of online companies that work with SEO, like grownomics.com.au. A lot of people know that it is a method of digital marketing that really works. If I needed to promote my website, I would use SEO for this purpose.

Hello!
I have a client with two versions of the site

we have the slug translation update and both versions have a blog (one german one and one english)

HREFLANG tags are not an equivalent to SITEMAP!
This is simply not true. Google treats sitemaps with a much higher priority than hreflang tags and this is proven in the case of my client as well as also my entire 10 year experience as an SEO expert! the german blog posts don’t get indexed although there is a hreflang tag. I manually need to submit them to the index because there is no sitemap feature.
You need to solve this problem because it means that the language subdomains will always underperform.

I’m considering to pay for an external sitemap provider in order to solve this problem. Please advise