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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

Missing HTML lang attribute

The page being referenced is lacking a declaration for the language/region, which should typically be marked up using the HTML lang attribute.


Why is this important?

While Google and Yandex utilize hreflang tags for showing appropriate regional URLs in search results, other search engines like Bing depend on the HTML lang attribute to determine content language.


Without the HTML lang attribute defined, it's possible that some search engines may not interpret the correct language/region, possibly leading to the wrong version of the page showing up in localized search results.


What does the Optimization check?

This Optimization will become active if the page in question fails to specify its language/locale setting.


Examples that trigger this Optimization:

For instance, let's assume the page URL is: https://example.com/en/page-a/

A missing HTML lang attribute could be due to the absence of the following declarations:


The "content-language" meta tag within the <head> section:

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


The basic <html> element with a lang attribute:

<html lang="en">


The <title> element with a lang attribute:

<title lang="en">Page Title</title>


Why is this Optimization marked 'Opportunity'?

Identifying missing HTML lang attributes offers an opportunity to improve site optimization and may increase search engine traffic. Search engines utilize the HTML lang attribute to understand page language and region, and the absence of this attribute could result in incorrect language detection and display.


For effective optimization, especially in markets where Bing has significant usage, it is recommended to include the HTML lang attribute on pages that also make use of hreflang tags.


Further Reading

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