Content Language Tags

Certain search engines, such as Bing, do not support the rel="alternate" hreflang="x" annotations. There are three methods that can be used to help these search engines determine which language is being targeted.

HTML meta element

In the <head> section of the page, add a <meta> element with the http-equiv="content-language" attribute that specifies the language of the page.

Code example

  <meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-us" />

Note that this meta tag is reported as deprecated but Bing still looks at this signal to understand the language and the targeted audience of a web page. Therefore it is still a good idea to implement it in the <head> section of each page on the site with the appropriate language-locale code.

HTTP response header

An HTTP header can be used to indicate the language of a page for host-wide location tagging or non-HTML document such as PDFs.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Language: en-us

<html> tag language attribute

A language attribute on the <html> tag (lang and/or xml:lang) should be used to declare the default language of the actual text in the page, as such:

Code example

<html lang="en-us">

Related Topics

hreflang Tags

hreflang tags help indicate Google and Yandex in what language the content of a page is written and what audience (region) this content is targeting. This allows those search engines to serve the right content to the right user.

Learn more about hreflang tags