Avoiding search engine confusion with charset

Following up on an old thread, the reason that MSN Search thought my pages were in Chinese and other languages rather than English was a problem with the charset specified for my pages. My site used to specify its charset as Macintosh: <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=macintosh”>. Unfortunately, MSN’s search crawler doesn’t understand this charset. So as an experiment I tried changing the charset to UTF-8 on my front page, while leaving the deep pages untouched. Now an MSN search on my name no longer brings up garbage characters.

That’s the good news. The bad is that re-rendering my whole site to fix the charset on all the deep pages will be a royal pain.