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I'm concerned. I recently updated my sitemap generator to create xhtml tags with hreflang in it, to indicate duplicate content pages for different languages. Here's an example:

<url>
    <loc>http://www.mysite.dk/da</loc>
    <changefreq>daily</changefreq>
    <priority>0.5</priority>
    <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="da" href="http://www.mysite.dk/da" />
    <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://www.mysite.dk/en" />
</url>

Google loves this, and swallows it whole, but since Bing doesn't recognize the xhtml-tag, will all my alternate references be excluded by Bing, and therefore not appear in their searches?

Should I really make a separate sitemap with xhtml-tags for Google, and serve it from e.g. mysite.dk/GoogleSitemap.xml, and make another one with URL-elements for all the different language-versions of my pages, and serve it from e.g. mysite.dk/NormalSitemap.xml, and only include the latter in my robots.txt?

Thanks for any input!

Sincerely, Ultroman

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For Bing, you should use content-language code in the head of the document.

<meta http-equiv=”content-language” content=”en-us”>

Or the alternative in <html>

<html lang=”en-us”>

http://blogs.bing.com/webmaster/2011/03/01/how-to-tell-bing-your-websites-country-and-language/

But remember that calls between pages with different languages should be reciprocal.

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2620865?hl=en

So, in your sitemap you should have also this

<url>
<loc>http://www.mysite.dk/en</loc>
<changefreq>daily</changefreq>
<priority>0.5</priority>
<xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="da" href="http://www.mysite.dk/da" />
<xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://www.mysite.dk/en" />
</url>

Bing would ignore alternate meta, but it won't ignore url reference.

  • Thanks! I don't know how I missed that page. I've been manually crawling the Google Webmaster pages for hours :) It all makes sense now. – Ultroman the Tacoman Jun 10 '15 at 10:14
  • You're welcome. It can happen. Just remember to stick with a method with google: sitemap or meta tag (the one you're more comfortable with, in fact if you look carefully google always talk about alternate meta tag lang in head OR sitemap alternate hreflang), make a reference to all the urls you have, use one of those two meta tags for Bing. – lucgenti Jun 10 '15 at 10:16

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