Is <html lang="de-DE"> equal to <meta http-equiv="language" content="DE">?

- 1 answer

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I've a project were I can only add code beneath the <html>-tag but it's important that the language is in the header for SEO and some other stuff.

So my question is:

What is the priority/ranking of

<html lang="de-DE"> 

vs

<meta http-equiv="language" content="DE">
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Answer

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According to Google Multi-regional guidelines:

Google uses only the visible content of your page to determine its language. We don’t use any code-level language information such as lang attributes.

so from an SEO point of view it shouldn't matter. It's actually more important to put the language in the URL:

Google uses the content of the page to determine its language, but the URL itself provides human users with useful clues about the page’s content. For example, the following .ca URLs use fr as a subdomain or subdirectory to clearly indicate French content: http://example.ca/fr/vélo-de-montagne.html and http://fr.example.ca/vélo-de-montagne.html.

Given that the meta tag is obsolete (see Rahul Tripathi's answer) and you can't add the html 5 equivalent. I simply wouldn't bother.


If your site is multilingual then you should consider implementing hreflang tags to redirect users of the languages you wish to target to the correct language page.

See google docs here

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source: stackoverflow.com
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