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> Meta tags for bilingual websites, What language
annmills
post Aug 15 2012, 09:15 AM
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Hello,

I have been reading many conflicting articles on whether meta tags should be in another language, such as Spanish, if certain website pages are in Spanish. It seems that best practice is to keep the meta tags in English and just put the page language in the header. Does anyone have insight on this issue? Thanks.
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Brian Chandler
post Aug 15 2012, 09:47 AM
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First thing to know is that meta tags make almost no difference in practice to things like search results. (So it isn't worth spending *too* much time on them.)

Supposing you have some pages in Spanish, and others in English, then logically the keywords for the Spanish pages should be in Spanish, and those for the English pages in English. It doesn't really make sense to have keywords in a different language (and it won't help searching).

Yes, you really should put the correct lang= attribute in the header. (Although this (falsely) assumes that any particular page must be in a single language.)

HTH (is that EQA?)
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pandy
post Aug 15 2012, 09:53 AM
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QUOTE(Brian Chandler @ Aug 15 2012, 04:47 PM) *

Yes, you really should put the correct lang= attribute in the header. (Although this (falsely) assumes that any particular page must be in a single language.)


You can use the lang attribute any number of times in a page. To me, to logical thing to do is to use the dominant langue for the whole page and any other languages where needed.


CODE
<html lang="en">
...
<div lang="se">...</div>
<p lang="ja">...</p>
...
</html>
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Brian Chandler
post Aug 15 2012, 11:57 AM
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QUOTE
You can use the lang attribute any number of times in a page


Oh, right. I'd forgotten that.
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annmills
post Aug 15 2012, 02:09 PM
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Thanks to you both. Although I know the keywords do not help too much, is it worthwhile to have a meta description in Spanish? I am thinking to leave it in English and set the language attribute for the Spanish pages to es.
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Brian Chandler
post Aug 15 2012, 02:31 PM
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QUOTE
Thanks to you both. Although I know the keywords do not help too much, is it worthwhile to have a meta description in Spanish? I am thinking to leave it in English and set the language attribute for the Spanish pages to es.


It seems an obvious idea to say the language is Spanish if it is. What on earth is the point of writing keywords (or meta description) in a different language?

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pandy
post Aug 15 2012, 03:17 PM
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Something I don't know is how HTTP headers work with this. That's what you meant when you talked about header, right?

You can specify a list of languages, but should you only do so if all the content, or at least the bulk of it, is available in all the languages listed?
The spec is almost illegible to me.
http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec14.html (14.12)
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Brian Chandler
post Aug 15 2012, 10:39 PM
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QUOTE
Something I don't know is how HTTP headers work with this. That's what you meant when you talked about header, right?


Sorry, I was being loose: I meant the document head, i.e. the lang= attribute on the html tag. (Gosh, is that even inside the 'head'?)

The headers you pointed to are I think (after just a quick look) the headers that the *browser* sends saying what languages you want to *accept*.

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pandy
post Aug 16 2012, 03:55 AM
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The one at the top, Accept, yes. You have to scroll down to 14.12 - Content-Language. They didn't provide any anchor points...

OK, if you meant lang all the time, no problems! happy.gif
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