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Bing - SEO Analyzer
Just for the heck of it I........
Propools




msg:4506623
 9:18 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just for the heck of it I went into Bing's Webmaster Central and they've got an SEO Analyzer link. Just put in the URL and have it analyzed.
So, I entered one and the results it gave back were:
Recommended Action:
Use <meta http-equiv="content-language" content="ll-cc"> tag in the <head> section of your page, where "ll-cc" stands for the culture code of the language and country/region the content applies to. Alternatively use the lang="ll-cc" attribute on either the <html> or the <title> tag .
SEO Explanation:
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">.

Which according to W3C is obsolete [w3.org]?

If this is in fact correct, then are we to build pages that aren't only backwards compatible but are also backwards looking? ;)

 

SevenCubed




msg:4506628
 9:29 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

The intended purpose of their recommendation is valid but the version they are using looks like it may be out of date.

Your example (or rather Microsoft's) may be obsolete...
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-CA">

... but the newer version is not
<meta name="language" content="en-CA" />

The old example above might even pass html validation, or maybe not, but it will not pass section 508 validation if I remember correctly. I'm shooting from the hip here so I could be wrong.

I use the "<meta name="language" content="en-CA" />" version for all my docs.

Propools




msg:4506643
 9:51 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Great. Thanks for the update.

Propools




msg:4506647
 9:57 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

SevenCubed,
Even though the W3 says that
Using the meta element to specify the document-wide default language is obsolete. Consider specifying the language on the root element instead.
?
SevenCubed




msg:4506649
 10:12 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yeah I read that quickly and will follow up with that myself for my own curiosity but I didn't have time to dig into what they meant by that. Not sure, maybe it's some very recent development that I was not aware of either, don't know.

Propools




msg:4506652
 10:21 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

K, I would appreciate it if you would let me know.

lucy24




msg:4506661
 10:41 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

:: detour to refresh memory on what I do myself when, ahem, I bother to do anything at all ::

<html lang = "en">

If you put it on the <body> element instead, then you've excluded all your metas, notably the description. And, of course, the title.

They seem to be content with this. Matter of fact it was Bing's nagging that got me started on lang tags, especially in the directory that gets significantly multilingual.

SevenCubed




msg:4506665
 10:50 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well that's interesting. This is the first time I've seen that method.

Propools




msg:4506668
 11:00 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

What if instead of putting it in the <html> tag you were to put it in the <title> tag?

SevenCubed




msg:4506670
 11:04 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just quick digging before heading out for some fresh air here has turned this up...maybe it's actually a W3C bug that they are aware of [lists.w3.org...]

I don't typically go to the docs on W3C for references unless my document doesn't validate. By the way Lucy would your example pass Section 508?

Propools




msg:4506671
 11:06 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is probably a dumb question but I'm feeling dumb.
Does not the following by it's definition and implication mean that it's English?
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" >

[utf-8.com ]
[columbia.edu ]

lucy24




msg:4506693
 12:55 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

What if instead of putting it in the <html> tag you were to put it in the <title> tag?

Sure, that would work-- if your page is in Hungarian and the title is in Greek so it needs to be separately labeled.

This is probably a dumb question but I'm feeling dumb.
Does not the following by it's definition and implication mean that it's English?
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" >

Huh? Why would it? In fact, if it's in a language using a non-Roman script-- or even most Eastern European languages-- it would have to be UTF-8.

You may be thinking of the //EN element in some dtd's. This only means that the html tags themselves are English. Which they'd have to be, because nobody ever got around to making html in other languages. (Whew! What a lot of extra work that would make for browsers.)

would your example pass Section 508

Um. Er. I dunno. What's section 508? Is there stuff in sections 1-507 that I also need to worry about? :(

SevenCubed




msg:4506708
 2:06 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Section 508 is a standard to ensure your website is accessible to people with disabilities who rely on assistant technologies such as screen readers or other devices.

While it's implementation is for the USA audience it shouldn't be ignored outside the USA just because it isn't mandatory. It is a very valid best practice that should be implemented by everyone who can. I'm not subject to it but I have it implemented in all sites because it's the right thing to do. It can get frustrating at times trying to code things to pass the test but I'll bet it's equally as frustrating for people with disabilities who are unable to access your information and can't because our code breaks there devices -- I don't mean literally but breaks as in exits due to being unable to parse the page.

If you want to learn more about it you can check out a site like "Cynthia Says"

phranque




msg:4506713
 2:41 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

here's what W3C says about specifying language.
Internationalization Best Practices: Specifying Language in XHTML & HTML Content:
http://www.w3.org/TR/i18n-html-tech-lang/ [w3.org]
Sections 4 and 5 are the meat of the document.
the tl/dr version is use the html root element attribute.

and this.
HTTP headers, meta elements and language information:
http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-http-and-lang [w3.org]

there's even more detail in several references here.
Internationalization Techniques: Authoring HTML & CSS:
http://www.w3.org/International/techniques/authoring-html [w3.org]


there are several language and encoding checks made by the W3C Internationalization Checker:
http://validator.w3.org/i18n-checker/ [validator.w3.org]

i uploaded these prototypes for testing:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en-CA">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
<title>Language Specified in Root Element</title>
</head>
<body>
i18n testing of language specification
</body>
</html>


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-CA">
<title>Language Specified in Meta Content-Language</title>
</head>
<body>
i18n testing of language specification
</body>
</html>


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en-CA">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-CA">
<title>Language Specified in Meta Content-Language</title>
</head>
<body>
i18n testing of language specification
</body>
</html>


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
<meta name="language" content="en-CA">
<head>
<title>Language Specified in Meta Language</title>
</head>
<body>
i18n testing of language specification
</body>
</html>



the meta language specification was not recognized at all by the i18n checker.


the i18n checker throws a warning if the lang attribute is not specified for the html root element with this explanation:
There is no language attribute in the html tag.
<html>

A language attribute on the html tag sets the default natural language for the page. This information can be used for processing the content in various ways, including such things as spell-checking, accessibility, data formatting, and choice of styles for rendering the page. Every page should have the correct default language specified.

For HTML files, this should be a lang attribute. For XHTML served as HTML you should use both the lang and xml:lang attributes. For files served as XML only, you should have xml:lang, but you don't need to have the lang attribute.



the i18n checker throws an error if the Content-Language meta element is used (with or without the html lang attribute) with this explanation:
This page uses a meta element with the http-equiv attribute value set to Content-Language.
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-CA"/>

The HTML5 specification has made this type of meta element obsolete in HTML, so you should not use it for pages written in HTML5. This is due to the widespread confusion surrounding the use of this construct. In addition, browsers are inconsistent in the way they handle this information.

Given this, it is strongly recommended that you not use this Content-Language meta element in any HTML format.



also note this informational message is provided when an HTML5 DTD is specified:
This page uses the following character encoding declaration with an http-equiv attribute:
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"/>

This is acceptable for HTML5, however you may want to consider using the meta element with a charset attribute instead. For example:
<meta charset="utf-8">



according to google:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/03/working-with-multilingual-websites.html [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]
Keep in mind that Google ignores all code-level language information, from "lang" attributes to Document Type Definitions (DTD). Some web editing programs create these attributes automatically, and therefore they aren't very reliable when trying to determine the language of a webpage.

SevenCubed




msg:4506717
 3:35 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks very much for taking the time to track all this down phranque. That's going to be lots of reading to catch up on. What I do realize after skimming this is we haven't been on the same page in the sense that I've been approaching this as someone who uses XHTML 1.1 served as HTML and still using the current checker. It appears what you are presenting here is related to HTML5 and referring to the i18n-checker. But I did try it out anyway on my current sites and it does pass saying "no issues to report". I'll continue to use XHTML 1.1 served as HTML because of it's tighter validation rules (unless someone can convince me otherwise). I've determined that sticking to that DTD helps my sites be presented equally as well on mobile devices as desktops thereby eliminating the need for a separate mobile site. I'll stay with it until HTML5 becomes more supported by browsers, probably another 2 years (or 4 years in MSIE time).

And I actually took a closer look at my source and in fact I do have a bunch of stuffing in the opening <html...> That's what happens when we develop a boilerplate, we tend to forget or ignore what we stuffed into it originally...

This is the meat and potatoes of what I use:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd">
<html xml:lang="en" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/SCHEMA/xhtml11.xsd" >
<head>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<meta name="language" content="en-CA" />
</head>

Lots of standards to catch up on!

phranque




msg:4506720
 3:45 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

when you dig deep enough into those W3C references, i think you will see that your html tag is properly specifying the language attribute for that DTD.
the meta language element is being ignored by the i18n checker.

grandma genie




msg:4508220
 6:43 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Since this string is about Bing's SEO Analyzer, I thought I would add my two cents. I did the same thing, just for the heck of it, and for my website I only get this:

The request returned code: HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden

I have not blocked or banned the bingbot in either robots.txt or htaccess. My server logs do not show any slowdown in the bingbots indexing of my site and all the logs show http 200s for bingbot indexing, so why does its Webmaster Tools section show them getting the 403 forbidden code?

Also, I am not finding any results for my site in the SERPs for Bing. I'm wondering if that is why, but it doesn't make sense. I get hammered by the bingbot every day.

157.55.35.nn - - [15/Oct/2012:01:20:13 -0400] "GET /example.html HTTP/1.1" 200 25847 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)"
157.55.35.nn - - [15/Oct/2012:01:20:23 -0400] "GET /example.html HTTP/1.1" 200 26291 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)"
157.55.35.nn - - [15/Oct/2012:01:20:33 -0400] "GET /example.html HTTP/1.1" 200 22623 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)"
157.55.35.nn - - [15/Oct/2012:01:20:53 -0400] "GET /example.html HTTP/1.1" 200 41895 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)"
157.55.35.nn - - [15/Oct/2012:01:21:05 -0400] "GET /example.html HTTP/1.1" 200 22218 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)"
157.55.35.nn - - [15/Oct/2012:01:21:23 -0400] "GET /example.html HTTP/1.1" 200 23419 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)"
157.55.35.nn - - [15/Oct/2012:01:21:36 -0400] "GET /example.html HTTP/1.1" 200 23965 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)"
157.55.35.nn - - [15/Oct/2012:01:21:50 -0400] "GET /example.html HTTP/1.1" 200 22341 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)"

Any idea why their SEO Analyzer is giving the 403 code error?

--GG

grandma genie




msg:4508227
 7:00 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

One more thing, Bing's Fetch as Bingbot tool does work. It is just the SEO Analyzer that is showing the 403 error. But my site's keywords just are not showing up in Bing's searches. However, they show up very well in Google searches. I have the same problem with Yahoo. Would adding the Authentication Code for Bing to the site help? Should I care?

lucy24




msg:4508231
 7:16 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

The request returned code: HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden

Look at your logs for the appropriate time and you'll probably find they are using a plainclothes robot. In fact this is a problem with a lot of online tools: they operate from servers that you've probably blocked ages ago, so you have to nip in and un-block them and then quickly block them again once they've done what you asked them to do.

grandma genie




msg:4508263
 8:41 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thank you, Lucy. That did the trick. Just for anyone who is having the same issues, here is the log entry that indicated why the 403 error:

131.253.38.nn - - [15/Oct/2012:14:10:33 -0400] "GET /example.html HTTP/1.1" 403 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (seoanalyzer; compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)"

I was blocking seo as a user agent in htaccess.

--GG

g1smd




msg:4508287
 9:22 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for posting that UA string.

I'm sure lots of people will find that useful.

phranque




msg:4508384
 9:02 am on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

GG if you haven't already could you please start a thread identifying that user agent string in the Search Engine Spider and User Agent Identification: forum?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/search_engine_spiders/ [webmasterworld.com]

g1smd




msg:4508536
 6:38 pm on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Good idea!

grandma genie




msg:4509417
 2:52 pm on Oct 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

OK, done.

-- GG

phranque




msg:4510028
 12:43 am on Oct 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seoanalyzer Bingbot - Search Engine Spider and User Agent Identification forum:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/search_engine_spiders/4509414.htm [webmasterworld.com]

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