I have example.com which I translated all of the pages in my domain to several languages, all on their own subdomain (e.g. es.example.com, cn.example.com, ru.example.com, etc.). The top level domain example.com is redirected to www.example.com where the English version is hosted. I have several questions:

  1. How should I list the translated pages in the sitemap (or maybe I shouldn't even list them)? Can I list them on the sitemap that is served on www.example.com/sitemap.xml or should I prepare a unique sitemap for each subdomain (es.example.com/sitemap.xml etc.)?

  2. According to the answer for the previous question, is there any damage using sitemap for multiple versions of the site? Should I just use a sitemap for the English version?

1 Answer 1


First thing to have in mind is about content. If content is different from one to another language, then you should stick with subdomain solution (fr.domain.ext), but if it is just a plain translated version, you should use a subfolder solution (domain.ext/fr/).

This because subdomain triggers and conflicts with site authority. That said I can go for your answers.

If you are using subfolders, sitemap shouldn't be a problem. include everything into a single file (observing limits about sitemap file size). If you are using subdomains, then I think you can create a sitemap for each subdomain, and create a sitemap index file to aggregate them all and put it into the main site.

EDIT References:

  • Can you cite sources about the supposed "subdomain triggers and conflicts with site authority"? Google has clearly stated there is no functional difference between subdomains and subdirectories.
    – John Conde
    Nov 21, 2010 at 14:50
  • Sure I can. Check edit... Nov 21, 2010 at 15:33
  • None of the sources cite Google or any other search engine mentioning trust or authority on subdomains vs subdirectories. The one SE link that cites Matt Cutt's cites the same post I mentioned which states their essentially equal and only differ in ways that are not SEO related. I didn't check out all of the links thoroughly but they just seem to either expand upon what Matt Cutts said or provide speculation.
    – John Conde
    Nov 21, 2010 at 16:04
  • 1
    It would be better if you clarified before who Matt Cutts is. Everyone knows google. Not everyone knows Matt, Sergey and so on... Also, Matt can be the lead of google tech team, but who ensure all that he says is under google implementation? Seo Moz isn't a bad institution as they test their stuff, so I also trust on them and don't think they just speculate. Finishing, I really think my answer is right, once it observes content generation and use, and provide a clean solution to sitemap case. Nov 21, 2010 at 19:02

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