Yandex Introduce XML Sitemap Hreflang Support

In a recent update to the Webmaster support pages for XML sitemaps, Yandex have introduced a line talking about “localized pages”, which under further investigation it’s new declared support for Hreflang tags in the XML format.

Previously, Yandex had only declared support for Hreflang as HTML in the <head>, but this new support puts the search engine on par with Google – meaning a single XML sitemap implementation would suffice for both search engines.

Use the Sitemap file in the XML format to inform Yandex robots about the language versions of pages that need to be indexed on your site.

Like Google, Yandex supports ISO 639-1 language codes, as well as ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 region codes. Yandex also supports region codes from the Russian regions list: ISO 3166-2:RU.


Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of