Bing question

Bing Doesn’t Use Hreflang Annotation – What Does It Use?

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Bing question

If you have a website or multiple websites that targets audiences from multiple countries you have probably come across to a problem in which your international content competing with each other.

This problem is more pronounced if you are using the same content (for example the same English content targeting US and Canada) and in this example, in most cases the US content will out rank the Canadian content on Google Canada – assuming your US site has more authority.

Hreflang annotation that is supported by Google and Yandex is a good solution for this problem. It will essentially tell Google (or Yandex) which content is intended for which country.

Interestingly enough, Bing does not support hreflang so if your sites happen to bring in a lot of international visitors. What Bing uses is language meta tags.

Use the “content-language” meta tag to embed a document location in the <head> section of your documents:

<meta http-equiv=”content-language” content=”en-us”>

The “content” attribute is comprised of a 2-letter ISO 639 language code, followed by a dash and the appropriate ISO 3166 geography code. For example:

  • de-at: German, Austria
  • de-de: German, Germany
  • en-us: English, United States
  • es-ar: Spanish, Argentina

Alternatively, embed the document location in either the <html> or the <title> element using the same format:

  • <html lang=”en-us”>
  • <title lang=”en-us”>

Keep in mind that the priority order for these tags is: <meta>, <html>, <title>. In other words, the document location set in the “content-language” meta tag will always supersede the document location indicated in the <html> or <title> tag.  Its best that you use one option, instead of multiple options here.



1 reply
  1. Someone
    Someone says:

    It it possible to only specify the language? The description seems to suggest you have to use both language and country code.


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