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Auto-translated content going to get me into trouble?
SlyOldDog




msg:3734249
 12:02 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

We have a widely used site in <a competitive industry>. It has 270,000 indexed pages. It's built in 18 languages.

Today someone from our company mentioned the google auto translate tool is not that bad so it got me thinking we could offer our site in the minority languages too with a disclaimer that it's auto translated. After all - why not serve these markets too? Paying for manual translation of 15000 pages is too expensive for a small language.

However, I am worried about tripping a spam filter. What if google sees the pages as auto-generated content and slaps the whole site with a penalty?

Anyone know of a precedent for this?

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 12:08 pm (utc) on Aug. 29, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed specifics [/edit]

 

Receptional Andy




msg:3734250
 12:14 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is the intention to link directly to a service like Google translate, or to copy and paste the machine translation into your own pages? If you're thinking of using the content directly, there might be an issue in terms of the T&C of the translate service, and this is more likely to cause content-based problems (since you'll have no way of knowing what the content actually is!). If you're linking to a third party service, then there's unlikely to be any issue.

SlyOldDog




msg:3734676
 9:24 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately Google blocks google maps and javascripts from the auto translate service so linking to the google translated page will render it useless for my customers.

I would therefore be forced to use a translation program to translate the pages and display them on my domain in all their imperfect glory.

LifeinAsia




msg:3734718
 10:53 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Today someone from our company mentioned the google auto translate tool is not that bad

Best advice: fire that person!
Unless you are perfectly happy to let shoddy quality drag down your company's reputation.

All it takes is one poor translation to be picked up and spread rapidly (viral marketing works for negative exposure just as easily as positive exposure).

SlyOldDog




msg:3735491
 4:47 pm on Aug 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Not sure what you mean. I am quite happy to offer auto translated content so long as it's clearly marked.

BenjArriola




msg:3735625
 10:28 pm on Aug 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree with LifeinAsia:

All it takes is one poor translation to be picked up and spread rapidly (viral marketing works for negative exposure just as easily as positive exposure).

Although I may not agree on the fire the person. :)

IMHO, you really need a good translator that speaks the language fluently from the local country of the language. Automated tools are not that reliable.

[edited by: tedster at 11:59 pm (utc) on Aug. 31, 2008]

BenjArriola




msg:3735685
 1:31 am on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Try this in Google Translate and check if it is accurate:

monica’s mama is very beautiful

Translate that line from English to Spanish, you get:

el mama de los monica es muy hermoso

Now translate the line above from Spanish to English, this will come out:

the breast of the monica is very beautiful

SlyOldDog




msg:3735762
 5:01 am on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Guys.This is irrelevant. I have decided it's ok for me. The question was about Google and penalties.

tedster




msg:3735765
 5:20 am on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can't think of any reason there would be a penalty. Each language would be creating unique character strings - so no duplicate content issues.

I suppose if the translations were completely awful, those pages might be measured as randomly generated phrase strings -- the kind that site-cranker scripts create. But that possibility seems wildly remote to me, especially because the concentration of keywords would not be there, and that's one of the characteristics of auto-gen scripts.

SlyOldDog




msg:3735768
 5:32 am on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

What I am worried about is Google spotting a pattern in the translation and deeming the site spam.

StoutFiles




msg:3735800
 7:07 am on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

What I am worried about is Google spotting a pattern in the translation and deeming the site spam.

Yet you aren't worried about the people coming to your site and instantly leaving when they see horrible translations?

SlyOldDog




msg:3735902
 10:39 am on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

No. They would not even find the site if they were searching for it in Swahili if I didn't have that language there. In these languages there will be no competition for my product, so it will be an option to book on my site or learn English.

As I said, my site is already in 18 languages (human translated). I am just talking about mopping up the rest of the world where I am sure nobody else bothered to target.

[edited by: SlyOldDog at 10:41 am (utc) on Sep. 1, 2008]

Asia_Expat




msg:3735905
 11:04 am on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

For a while, I considered investing in human translations to several Asian languages but I decided the cost was prohibitively expensive at this time.

Although I don't want shoddy machine translations, I wonder if it might be beneficial to do them anyway... at least I'd be getting some of the traffic I'm not getting ANY of without the machine translations?

[edited by: Asia_Expat at 11:05 am (utc) on Sep. 1, 2008]

Crush




msg:3735910
 11:17 am on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

You could always get a proof reader to correct it later.

Asia_Expat




msg:3736360
 7:33 am on Sep 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is what I'm thinking too... and what harm could it do to the traffic I already have (in English)... surely it could only be good, as it's catching some of the traffic I miss out on?

Robert Charlton




msg:3736371
 8:19 am on Sep 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think that the sections of this thread regarding translation is worth looking at for a number of reasons....

Choosing Multilingual SEOs
[webmasterworld.com...]

To quote several comments that I think might apply here...

You should also bear in mind that having your site translated and optimised into any language or languages is not as straight forward as finding native speakers or mother tongue speakers ..nor is that always the best and most effective route

Translation is about the understanding of cultures ( and their identifiable iconograpohy and semantic associations ..and the resultant motivations and psychology and triggers to action etc ..and they can depend on the age of the individual and or their status , income , background etc etc etc )..it's not about word for word ..

And, an important point that no one has mentioned here...

...you would also have to be prepared either to answer all email enquiries in those same languages ..or pay for them to be translated into your own language and then for your replies to be translated back into the enquirers language...

LifeinAsia




msg:3736556
 3:29 pm on Sep 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Although I don't want shoddy machine translations, I wonder if it might be beneficial to do them anyway... at least I'd be getting some of the traffic I'm not getting ANY of without the machine translations?

Unlike the old saying with regards to publicity, bad traffic is not necessarily better than no traffic. Asians are particularly sensitive towards bad translations of their native language (ironic, considering the amount of fractured English that comes out of Asia). So you may get a lot of traffic to your site from people checking out how riduculous your translations are.

If all you want is traffic, then go for it. But if you have a brand/reputation that you don't want to ruin, avoid machine translations.

SlyOldDog




msg:3737175
 9:36 am on Sep 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>...you would also have to be prepared either to answer all email enquiries in those same languages ..or pay for them to be translated into your own language and then for your replies to be translated back into the enquirers language...

Robert that is not necessarily the case. The mod snipped my industry in the first post, so you'll have to take my word for it people are happy to browse in their own language and to attempt a booking in English. It's easier to concentrate hard for a minute than 10 minutes.

Anyone put large amount of auto-translated content on a domain? What happened?

[edited by: SlyOldDog at 9:41 am (utc) on Sep. 3, 2008]

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