I have a website which is in 3 languages: English (primary), German and French. When a language is selected all of page's content is translated to the selected language (the page content is always in one language). My site structure looks like this:

www.mydomain.com (primary: english)
www.mydomain.com/de/ (german)
www.mydomain.com/fr/ f(rench)

Every page also contains links to other languages. Do I need to add the language attribute to the link? Like so:

<a href="wwww.mydomain.com/de/" lang="de">Deutsch</a>
<a href="wwww.mydomain.com/fr/" lang="fr">Français</a>
<a href="wwww.mydomain.com/en/" lang="en">English</a>

I've add all the appropriate meta tags, but don't know how to properly add the meta tags for content-language. Do I add all languages in the meta tag, like so:

<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en, de, fr" />

Or do I add only the selected language:

example: if German selected

<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="de" />

What's the proper way (SEO wise) to do this?

1 Answer 1

  1. The lang attributes are correct in the links. Since you name the language not in English you should specify the language using the lang attribute, like you did.

  2. The content-language should contain the main language of the page. You could however just add a lang attribute to the <html> element (<html lang="en">). It's a lot shorter and should work just fine on search engines (using the meta http-equiv is kind of hackish, because it should actually be set at the http level, like the name implied).

  • so i should put only the current selected language and not all languages..right? like this: <html lang="selectedLanguage"> ?
    – jernej
    Aug 7, 2011 at 20:05
  • 2
    yep. no list. Otherwise search engines and others still wouldn't know which language the current page is in.
    – Gerben
    Aug 7, 2011 at 20:23
  • 1
    Adding to this answer (not worth creating a new one): googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/03/… is a good reference... Aug 8, 2011 at 2:40

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