I have a website in Persian language and translated some of my popular posts into English and added this header in <head> section in both of the pages (not entire site):

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="fa" href="http://bytegate.ir/%DA%86%DA%AF%D9%88%D9%86%D9%87+%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85+%D8%AF%D9%87%DB%8C%D9%85/" >
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://bytegate.ir/en/how-to-do-something.php">

There is no canonical tag on the pages. I created a sitemap.xml manually for English version of the pages (because there are no much posts in English language). Here is to sitemap's content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" 
       <image:caption>How to do something</image:caption>

I have submitted the sitemap above alongside the one I had for my Persian posts (which is created by All in One SEO Yoast for Wordpress.) At first, I only maintained the other language hreflang in the pages and Google didn't indexed anything. I found out that I should mark all of the hreflangs in each multilingual page.

Now when I resubmit the sitemap, I feel it doesn't get refreshed because there is no pending status and everything is like when the English page is not get indexed in my first try (submitted URLs = 1 and indexed URLs = 0 in Search Console of Google.)

What should I do?

  • 1
    Have you link your English version article anywhere like homepage or categories section. Google take sometime to index new content. But you can use fetch as google tools from Google webmaster tools, where you can submit your new content for index. Normally if I was there, then I will wait for automatic crawl, normally few weeks :)
    – Goyllo
    Feb 12, 2016 at 9:16
  • 1
    @Goyllo I tried Fetch as Google yesterday and now, it got indexed :) Can you add an answer so I can mark it as answered? Feb 12, 2016 at 11:34

1 Answer 1


Google does not use the rel=alternate links in crawling a website and indexing other language pages. You need some form of linking on your site to access the translated sections of your site so that Google is aware of them, then as Google indexes the translated parts of your site it will automatically identify the languages and list them with the appropriate keywords. Do still use the rel=alternate and rel=canonical tags in the header to ensure industry best practices for SEO and so that Google is able to identify that it is simply translated content of the same page rather than different pages entirely.

Easiest way to do this is in the footer of the page or somewhere appropriate to your site add a link to the various translated versions of the page and on the homepage link to the translated versions of the homepage which in turn link to the translated sub pages.

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