I own a website and I really want to be on the top of Google rank (obviously), when you search by my full name.

If you search from a computer, that has the English language as a default, my website may come as a first one in the rank. But, when you have Polish set up (which is my primary audience), the website comes in 5th or 6th.

The problem is, Google doesn't recognize, that my website has two languages available at /pl and /en, even though my sitemap states that clearly.

How do you tell Google, that one's website is available in multiple languages:

  • Polish at /pl,
  • English at /en,
  • (and German at /de).

The sitemap is available and recognized by Google (I have successfully uploaded it to Google Search Console).

Regardless, no matter if you use Polish or English browser, browse from Poland or anywhere in the world, Google always points to https://example.com, which is in English by default.

I shall add the website is up and running for several months (and several weeks after major changes). It has been already indexed by Google (verified in Search Console) and all pages recognized (but not respected) via a submitted sitemap.

  • The sitemap will not mean much, but it is good that you have it. Be that as it may, I realize you are searching two ways, you state Polish set-up, but is that language only? I am not sure what that means. Are you hitting the Polish Google site or the .com site? Have you tried both? Or am I missing it? I am not an expert on having different languages on a site, however, I would suspect that hitting the Polish Google site should give good results knowing how some of this works. Just asking for clarification so that someone can provide a solid answer. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 23:51
  • See also: support.google.com/webmasters/answer/83106?hl=en which doesn't directly answer your question, but it has some techniques that may be helpful. Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 7:58
  • @closetnoc When you hit example.com without specifying language at the end, the language will be determined by your browser's preference. When you google for my name, Google will not show you the website version appropriate for you (with .com/pl at the end), but will always show you the .com without language specified. Although that is cool with English-speaking countries (since English is the default), it really hurts ranking for Polish and German users. Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 1:26
  • Using this tools the sitemap looks valid :). Looks good to me
    – Raul Reyes
    Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


I would highly recommend to implement hreflang meta tags to define the areas or more specifically alternative pages in different language.

Hreflang even support targeting users who speaks a certain language with a content in a different language.

In your case you should tag your pages in all the different versions with these very same three tags

<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/pl/" hreflang="pl" />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en/" hreflang="en" />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/de/" hreflang="de" />

All three independent of the region but targeting users who speaks pl, en and de.

Just confirm the language codes here.

Another advise that I will give you is not to translate the content using automated tools, make a real effort not just to translate the content but also to use specific language slangs (if appropriate).

  • Google advises not to use hreflangs and a sitemap, but stick to one or the other. Do you think I should add hreflangs and remove the sitemap, or having them both won't hurt? Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 1:23
  • @CzajkowskiDariusz you are better off using hreflang. Do not use sitemap to define targeted audience, the meta tag is a stronger suggestion
    – Raul Reyes
    Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 4:45
  • @CzajkowskiDariusz You can still use the sitemap of course but not for the purposes of defining a section of your website.
    – Raul Reyes
    Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 5:18
  • Is this good looking for you? Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 18:33

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