I have a main website example.com which is mainly used for targeting one country. We recently started creating sub-directories for targeting other countries i.e, example.com/us/, example.com/ph/ etc., We have replicated the same example.com and created sub-directories i.e, content and design are same. I have put canonical URL for sub-directories as example.com, as that is the primary domain.

Now, after optimizing sub directory pages based on country wise, I have changed certain sub directories canonical URL as example.com/us/ - My sub-directories are not getting crawled or indexed. In search console, it shows me the error - "Duplicate, submitted URL not selected as canonical" I have changed canonical URLs but its been a month, the pages are not still not shown in the search results. What should I do to get my pages crawled?

  • 1
    It sounds like Googlebot crawled the URLs to me. If Google knows they are duplicate, then they have been crawled. Why do you say they haven't been crawled? Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 7:59

1 Answer 1


By adding the canonical meta link to your alternate language pages you're telling crawlers to ignore those pages and favour the canonical page.

In this case you need to be using href-lang meta data to direct crawlers to the correct page for a given language:

<!-- US English Site -->
<link rel="alternate" href="https://www.example.com/us/" hreflang="en-us" />
<!-- General Portuguese -->
<link rel="alternate" href="https://www.exampl.com/pt/" hreflang="pt" />

And then on your country pages you'd have a similar one linking back to the root version with the appropriate geo language.

More information on supported values and usage can be found on Google's developer pages.

I assume that your content isn't identical on each version if you are providing regional/country specific information? If it truly is identical, then there's probably not much value in duplicating it out if the site is using a generic TLD rather than a country specific one.

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