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Google penalizes machine translation

Penalization of free website translation

Google penalizes machine translation


Let’s analyse a typical situation: you have finally finished creating the content of your website, pouring over each phrase, switching words around, removing and adding text, all to achieve the right message so as to obtain the best possible positioning, generate interest, attract new clients and achieve more sales. You’re now thinking about translating your website into other languages. Whilst it may be tempting to use free machine translation tools such as Google Translate for this due to their accessibility and very low cost, in the vast majority of cases it is not the recommended option. This is partly due to the high number of errors that machine translation still produces and also because content translated via machine translation does not take SEO into account.

Another equally important reason to avoid machine translation, particularly when translating website content, is that Google doesn’t like machine translations. And if Google doesn’t like something, it’s best to avoid it, at least if you value your website traffic!

It sounds contradictory that as the pre-eminent search engine, Google would apply penalties for using one of its own products. However, it would appear that those who manipulate search engines have been publishing vast quantities of content that doesn’t make sense, which is machine translated and full of mistakes. In order to make the results as accurate as possible, Google classifies the machine-translated content as “machine-generated content”, which contravenes its webmaster guidelines.

This means that a bad translation of your content could negatively affect your position in the ranking of the results. In addition, as pointed out by Ariel Hochstadt on Search Engine Land, if you have monetized your website via AdSense, they could disable your account for including “websites with gibberish content that makes no sense or seems auto-generated”.

Again, the translation sector is no different to any other in that the saying “you get what you pay for” very much applies. Our recommendation is to avoid using machine translation to convert the content of your website (painstakingly created and your business card for the market) into a text that makes no sense and that also penalizes your positioning in the most popular search engine. Entrust the translation of your website to professionals and you will reap the benefits.

For more information on how Google penalizes the use of machine translation, visit http://searchengineland.com/googles-cutts-auto-generated-content-search-results-in-our-index-violate-our-guidelines-171553.

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