---- Google ignores all code-level language information
lucy24 - 5:27 pm on Nov 26, 2012 (gmt 0)
:: bump ::
I just remembered something, and had to go back to check.
g### says explicitly that it doesn't use the "lang = blahblah" information.
Meanwhile, in that other search engine's webmaster tools, the SEO Reports section under Reports & Data (not to be confused with the SEO Analyzer under Diagnostics & Tools) offers a list of errors including, quote,
The page is missing meta language information.
Follow the link and you'll get to an explanatory page that says among other things
The Meta Language information is used as a hint to help us understand the intended language and country/region the page content applies to. This can help if your site is not hosted in the country/region. Use the “content-language” meta tag to embed the culture code in the <head> section of your page. For example, <meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-gb"> indicates that the page is in English and intended for the the United Kingdom. Alternatively, you can use <html lang="en-gb"> or <title lang="en-gb">.
(Ignore the "title" option, which strikes me as demented. You can also argue about "intended for".)
Well, at least g### doesn't expressly order us to omit language information from the <head>. Leave it in, and you'll make at least one search engine happy.