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I have a website containing around 8000 vacancies (and growing each day): https://www.example.com , this website consists (at the moment) out of 3 languages, www.example.com/nl-be/, www.example.com/fr-be/ and www.example.com/en-be/.

Apart from this we sell our platform to cities, schools and companies and we have plenty over 500 of these. The URL's for eg: cities look like this https://www.example.com/nl-be/city1/ or https://www.example.com/fr-be/city1/.

I am wanting to create a sitemap index with all different sitemaps underneath. So I will split up my users, organisations, vacancies, etc. all in a different sitemap. And link them in the sitemap index.

However, if I have a vacancy on my global site like so: https://www.example.com/nl-be/vwnl/vacature/this-is-a-title/1243 this is also available under FR: https://www.example.com/fr-be/vwfr/annonce/this-is-a-title/1243 and under EN: https://www.example.com/en-be/vwen/vacancy/this-is-a-title/1243

And on top of that, it will also be available on (at least 1, but could be more) subsites. So it could be that it's also available on https://www.example.com/nl-be/city1/vwnl/vacature/this-is-a-title/1243 or https://www.example.com/fr-be/city1/vwfr/annonce/this-is-a-title/1243

Each of these pages have in their HTML tags a canonical URL set to themselves and alternate tags for each language with the corresponding URL. However, I am wondering how do I make sure that the URLs for my subsites also get indexed by Google, and thus, how do I put them in to a sitemap?

It feels impossible for me to create a sitemap and index for each subsite (since Google will only accept 500 of them).

There's not really a hard-limit on how many "subsites" a vacancy can appear, so it's hard to make predictions here when i'll bounce on limits.

Can anyone help me out how to structure my Sitemap (with index), on my multilanguage + multi "subsites" problem?

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    Welcome to Webmasters! It seems to me that you are complicating things too much. Your canonical tags should point to the preferred page where there are duplicates. If there is no duplicate, then they should point to the page they reside on. You can organize your sitemaps how you wish, however, this will make no difference to search engines. As well Google will read all of the data in sitemaps. There is no real limit. I had millions of pages and Google used the sitemaps heavily. Just add your URLs. Do not think too hard on language or the directories etc. Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 21 '19 at 17:11
  • Can't there only be one canonical tag? At the moment this always points to itself. I prefer pulling my users to my subsites, but sometimes a vacancy can reside in multiple subsites, and it always exists in my global site as well. – Dennis Nov 21 '19 at 17:13
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    Yes. Just one. If one page is a duplicate of another, you would use the canonical tag to point to the preferred page. Otherwise, you are leaving the decision of this page to display to Google. Google will generally ignore duplicate content. Otherwise, one way to get around this is to make each page unique. I suppose if the language changes among duplicates, it may be not actually be a duplicate. I will leave that question to others. Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 21 '19 at 17:16

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