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I am part of a team that is trying to improve the SEO on an international website that supports roughly 40 different languages. One idea was to submit an XML sitemap with the hreflang attribute.

Unfortunately, the current structure of the site uses URL parameters to target multiple languages, which I've come to understand is not recommended.

Is there still a benefit to a hreflang implementation given this?

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Yes, the hreflang attribute allows you to show search engines what the relationship is between web pages in alternate languages. See https://moz.com/learn/seo/hreflang-tag

I would change your URL structure first though as this will give you more SEO value. Use .htaccess to rewrite the URL parameters to language specific URLs. EG. domain.com/es for Spain

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