Medium This Hint is worth investigating further, and may warrant further attention depending on the type and quantity of URLs affected. Opportunity This Hint represents an opportunity for optimization.

Has hreflang annotations without HTML lang

This means that the URL in question has hreflang annotations, but has not defined the language/region attribute using HTML lang.

Why is this important?

While Google and Yandex use hreflang to determine which URLs to display in regional search results, some search engines, such as Bing, use the HTML lang attribute.

If a URL uses hreflang, but not HTML lang, you may find that the language/region is not correctly interpreted by all search engines, which may result in the incorrect page being served in localised search results.

What does the Hint check?

This Hint will trigger for any URL which has hreflang annotations but no HTML lang attribute.

Examples that trigger this Hint:

Consider the URL:

The Hint would trigger for this URL if it had hreflang annotations:

<link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="en-us" />
<link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="fr-fr" />
<link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="de-de" />

but did not have a HTML lang attribute:

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

Why is this Hint marked 'Opportunity'?

In Sitebulb, this Hint is an Opportunity, as it represents a situation where you could optimize the site to potentially gain more search traffic.

Some search engines rely on HTML lang (instead of hreflang) to determine the language of a page, so if it is missing the language may not be correctly interpreted.

If this is an important traffic source (e.g. if the website exists in a market with high Bing usage), add the HTML lang attribute to all pages that have hreflang.

Further Reading

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