TheMadScientist - 5:43 pm on Nov 4, 2012 (gmt 0)
Has anyone else thought about this from a search engine POV?
You have a little 'feedback' link on your pages and people start clicking it telling you there are pages displaying for the wrong languages...
So, you check your system and make sure you're handling the variables correctly and lang="FR" is really being treated as lang="FR" and not lang="EN". After you dig through everything and make sure you have everything right on your end you start looking at the source code of the pages only to find the ones not displaying correctly are actually miscoded.
Now you need to code a solution for your end, because the only other plausible alternative is to code a solution and then contact the webmaster to let them know their page is miscoded then Hope they change it. Either way, you have to use the actual text of the page to find the language, because if you don't you won't know which pages are coded correctly and which are not and there are too many pages to review by hand.
All the suggestions and 'oh, they should do it this way' ideas do is add a layer of processing that would have to be developed and tested prior to implementation, then maintained for the duration of your search engine, and to what end? You STILL have to go by the language on the page rather than the declared language to make sure you get it right, so the bottom line of all the suggestions is: More work for absolutely nothing other than making a few webmasters happy their coding is being used.
It's not practical from a business or even 'search advancement' perspective to bother with it, because the time it would take to code, implement and maintain could be much more well spent...