Something we international (even non-US-English) webmasters have been
begging to have for some time - proper information about how to
correctly set up the language metadata for a web page such that search
engines will understand it and get it right. There are numerous ways
in which it can be done, and some information given out is
contradictory - for example, at an SES London event someone from our
company asked this, and Google said to write <meta name="language"
Now if you look around on the internet, there isn't much reliable
information about the 'meta name=language' element. It's not specified
in the HTML specification by the W3C (although meta http-
equiv="Content-Language" and html lang= are). This tag appears to have
originally started as a browser-added tag to make sure pages displayed
correctly, before "html lang=" was available. For setting the language
in HTML, the "lang" attribute of the <html> element serves the same
purpose (for html parsers, the meta http-equiv=Content-Language tag is
for parsers solely using the http protocol). The standards-specified
"lang" / "xml:lang" html element attribute thus appears to supersede
the non-standard meta name=language tag.
There is a lot of contradictory information out there about the meta
name=language tag. A lot of things have just been copied from
incorrect sources (note the number of sites that talk about "en-UK"
even though this is not a valid language code). Some recommendations
suggest to stick to RFC3066 values for this element. This is the
ISO-639-1 language e.g. "en" with optional ISO-3166 region on the end
e.g. "en-GB" or "en-US". Whether use of fully qualified language names
e.g. "English" is valid is not clear - there isn't really a standard
as this tag use was never standardised.
In summary, there is no 'correct' way to use this tag, because this
tag isn't standardised anywhere. Whatever we put in might be
misinterpreted by any search engine that looks at this tag. There's a
standardised replacement for it that's been around a long time, which
has standardised behaviour that lets you write something that you know
So do we believe the Google rep at SES who is suggesting us to use
something for which there is no specification and which nothing else
uses nowadays? This is too important a topic to be left to guesswork,
and indeed too important to be left to different search engines to
implement how they wish - it's something we need clear guidelines on
now, and that search engines need to create a shared public standard
for so that what is correct on one search engine is correct on all of
Please cover this in the chat, and also please write a post on Google
Webmaster Central so that all the international webmasters who are in
the dark about how to set the language metadata for search engines to
understand will have guidance too (this is too important to be lost in
a live webchat).
First off al i would like to see a log posted of the chat, in case you
have not planned so yet, so everyone can read whats been said/written
in that chat session.
Not everyone can/has the time to participate :)
What i would like to see answered/discussed is:
Will google be able to handle headers sent by the server instead of
only looking at the HTML-code of pages?
IMHO its more economic for the servers visited if google would perform
only "HEAD" access to pages.
Most webmasters are able to add meta headers to their pages using
".htaccess" directives :)
As you might know by now, reading all the post about site
verifications, that there is a big problem with this functionality.
Thats why I think an added feature for server headers could help
If you have a phone where we can call you directly (no "press 1 to
reach marketing..." and no uninformed switchboard inbetween), then
we'll be able to call you instead :-). Neat, huh? Hope to see you
I am CTO of WebTrain. www.webtrain.com.
I've been involved in the web arena far longer than Google itself.
Our new site is being dropped on April 30th: htttp://www.webtrain.com/default.asp I would like to take you up on your offer for site review.
We've applied many techniques to provide the user with best
navigation, the site utilizes complex CSS.
It has (I beleive), the best CSS menu you have ever seen.
It is W3C complient, 0 errors, and utilizes techniques to ensure menu
duplication does not affect content.
Content is original, creative, has tremendous depth, we've even had
physcologists review the content and employed proven selling
Keywords and such as based upon content, truly a fully optimized site,
complete with XML site map etc.
We have 600,000 members and have been in business for 7 years.
Review and comments would be appreciated.
There aren't any call-in numbers in Thailand, but you should be able
to log in to the chat, whereupon a window will pop up inviting you to
enter your phone number and WebEx will immediately call you back and
> There aren't any call-in numbers in Thailand, but you should be able
> to log in to the chat, whereupon a window will pop up inviting you to
> enter your phone number and WebEx will immediately call you back and
> connect you.
Hi, I just wanted to know if there are any pre-set topics that will be
covered or can we ask whatever (related to google) in this chat
session. Like, I wanted to know about why is my site not getting out
of PR0 penalty even though I have removed all external links (or
nofollowed them ) and I have also requested reconsideration. Site:
www.NewIndiaModels.com, www.ktpl.com, www.kidiezone.com
Why does Google index scraper splogs (particualry jewellery related),
sometimes in place of the URLS from which they have stolen the content
- in some cases content that was published and indexed over 5 years
We'll have a presentation and then do a site clinic for one site
(which we've already chosen). Generally we'll try to provide
information that will be useful to all attendees, rather than
answering specific questions about people's individual sites (since
I'm sure there would be waaaay more questions that we have time for!).