Google Seo And Internationalization


We have a website in four languages: (name without language selector).

I have two questions:

1) why do I still find a (one) href lang error in Google Search Console for; and So with the extensions /sl=en, /sl=nl and /sl=de.

(Note: there are more href lang errors in the Indonesian language (sl=id), but that's because not all English pages have been translated yet in Indonesian).

2) In search results, when searching in The Netherlands in for 'bali holiday villa', the website comes up on page 2 of search results in the English language, with other websites in English language coming before our website. I would expect Google would show our website in Dutch. If that would work as expected, it might also make the website score higher than it does now? Or is this caused by the English testimonials?

CS Cart help desk says everything has been configured OK regarding href lang and that they cannot say anything about the indexing by Google.

What are we doing wrong or should we do different? :-(

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,


My guess is that Big-G is seeing the language selector and it is not set to 'rel="nofollow"'. Hence it is following that link and that causes the URL to become lksjdf/sl=nl or whatever. That's the disadvantage of having most of the selectors in cs-cart as anchor tags rather than select tags.

I've not confirmed the above, but that scenario would describe what you're seeing.

Sorry, but I don't understand your answer?

And is your answer referring to the first or the second question?

My response was to your first question.

Why don't you use separate directories for each language? So /en /nl , etc

In google webmaster you can target each language as a separate website this way. IE you can target /de for German, /nl for Dutch, /en for UK or global, etc. This way your search results will rank higher in the correct languages.

This makes it more clear for the visitor and search engines like it better. To do this set "show language in url" to on.

Also when testing in google make sure you use a clean browser because google will show pages you visit regularly on top. So use an incognito windows in chrome, for example.

OK, thanks Flow 8) , I get that.

If that's really better I could do that, but the consequences will be pretty big (wish I had known this at the beginning :-( )?

Because all the url's will change, I will have to:

- check all all the internal links

- construct a new sitemap

- correct robots.txt

- notify websites that are deeplinking to our website

Maybe other important consequences that I am forgetting?

For some time all the links in the search engines will result in a 404 which could be hurting?
Sorry for all these questions: we know a lot about villas in Bali, but much less about CS Cart and the workings of search engines like Google...

404's, Internal and incoming links, you could (should) simply make 301 redirects and they'd still work.

Sitemap - should be a 5 minute job with cs-carts add-on :)

Thanks very much for the great advice!

It took some time, but the job of including the language in the url's has been done. Let's see what the results will be with the search machines.

One thing that looks strange to me: the Google Sitemap Addon generated a new sitemap, but of the possible homepages in different languages, only the default was included.
So I added manually the,, and in the sitemap.

I think they weren't included in the old sitemap either ( etc.). Maybe that's why Google never found the homepage other than in English when searching in a different language from English.
If so, then that looks like a serious shortcoming of the Google Sitemap Addon or at least something one should know when setting up in more than one language...?