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Is translated copy considered duplicate content?

 5:57 am on Nov 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hello, I am considering translating 100 of my attraction pages for a destination in a foreign language. The problem is that I will be using the same photo galleries as on my original pages. Also since the attractions have unique names I cant translate them so therefore my url in my main english version is lets say... mydomain.com/attraction1.htm and when I translate it it will be mydomain.com/language/attraction1.htm . I am concerned that this can be treated as duplicate content because there will be many same elements on the page - the photo gallery, the location names and overall the site design. So should I do that - translate my pages, or is it better if I dont?



 6:16 am on Nov 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

When the text is translated it is definitely NOT considered duplicate content, even when other non-text elements on the page are the same.


 6:51 pm on Nov 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I will agree as well, from my own sites I had all of it translated into Chinese and I'm seeing triple the traffic over a 5 month period thus far.


 9:23 pm on Nov 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

thank you both for your reply.


 2:51 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

While i feel that it should not be considered duplicate if you translate it manually.

I am not sure about Automated Translation of content.


 5:15 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

While i feel that it should not be considered duplicate if you translate it manually.

I am not sure about Automated Translation of content.

That is a great question. What stops somebody from looking up pages on Widgets written in Swedish and then using the google translator tool to translate them into English, and then posting them on an English language site?

I do remember that JohnMU said in one of the google webmaster forums that google frowned upon automatic translations for automating content, but the wording was a bit vague.


 6:42 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do you mean google can tell if it is an automatic translation? How can they tell?

I was not planning to use an automatic translation because I speak the foreign language and I will do all translations manually. But how can google see that my translations are not automated and differ from the automated ones?


 9:07 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

This question is quite important. Lets see what tedster has to say.


 11:11 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here is the link to JohnMu's reply [google.com...] for reference.

It simply implies to get the content proof-read even if you are using a tool for translation.


 12:31 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here is the link to JohnMu's reply [google.com...] for reference.

Wow, that's interesting. He said:
using automated translation tools to directly create content for your site could be seen as creating auto-generated content, which would be against our Webmaster Guidelines

I used a translator tool (like a lot of people do) from here [vbenterprisetranslator.com ] for my forum but regarding JohnMu's statement this is against the guidelines?


 1:37 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm aware of many sites that have been banned for using that 'tool' and also wordpress blogs that use the wp version. Its automated content, supplied by googs own servers/system, they are hardly going to be happy about you making money of their backs are they.


 2:30 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

You can even spin a copy 100 times and it will not count as duplicated content (the spin software is using synonyms). This way you can make 100 copies which will not be seen as duplicates.


 4:30 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

It currently is possible to sneak through with lots of automated translations and "spun" pages. However, I would advise listening to what John Mueller has to say. If those pages begin to rank for competitive keywords, it is very likely they will get a manual review. This may also happen if the number of URLs on a domain suddenly takes a big jump, even though they are not yet ranking or getting a lot of impressions in the search results.

Such a manual review will most likely get your whole site heavily penalized or even completely dropped from the search index.


 5:35 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Automatically translated content is the quickest way to chase away real customers from real businesses.

Word-for-word translated content, even when manually performed, also loses the nuances of language and is almost as worthless.


 12:38 am on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ok, but how will google make the difference between automated translation and a manual one?


 1:00 am on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

A manual review can be triggered when the translated URLs start to rank on important queries. If the pages don't ever rank - then it doesn't really matter one way or another. But pon review, it doesn't take long for a human to see the difference.

Google also monitors the number of impressions for any domain, as well as sudden jumps in the number of URLs found. I think a manual review might also get thrown in those situations.


 3:10 am on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have translated one of my sites into French, German and Spanish and found very reasonable online services that do a great job.

My sales and traffic show that Google loves it and definitely sees it as unique content. I wouldn't consider using an automatic translation. I'm sure you've seen shoddily translated sites and they just foul the Internet

My page names are similar to virtualreality's example and have had no problems so far 18 months since beginning the translations. The structure of the translated sites is exactly the same as the original too but with navigation in the correct language.

One tip is to give the search engines some help by adding the language set at the top of the page, for instance German would be:
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="de" lang="de">, although I'm sure most search engines would be pretty good at detecting it automatically


 4:27 am on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

So, Tedster wants to say that Google probably has no means to detect automated translated content (although, i think they can pretty easily detect automatically translated content). Only they will see some indication of something going on, when there is an increase in number of pages. And then, a manual review will happen, which can cause trouble.

And, if i have 100 page website, and i translate those 100 pages in other languages using automated tool (i know the quality is usually not good for real users), why should google or other Search Engines have a problem. Anyway, google is also doing automated translation of our content sometimes.


 4:36 am on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

"I am not sure about Automated Translation of content."

I just read of someone who got a Google penalty for auto-translated pages... They said they removed them and got their rankings back, also they they found out auto generated translated pages need to be removed after 15 days to be in Google compliance...


 4:37 am on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

why should google or other Search Engines have a problem

Because, as you said, "the quality is usually not good for real users" - and real users are what keep Google in business. If they send traffic to a poorly translated page, and a lot of that traffic quickly bounces back to the search results page for a different choice, Google will notice that.


 6:45 am on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Again, i would call it double standard.

Google itself will offer automated translation (which isn't having amazing quality), but will penalize the ranking for pages on websites using automated translations.


 7:02 am on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Where does Google rank its own automated translation of content well?


 7:16 am on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

They don't rank it anywhere, but they offer translation as a service to their web users.


 6:37 pm on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would like to open this discussion again. I have researched all over the internet if translated copy is considered duplicated or not and I got different opinions. Ok, here is what's going on. I have many pages for attractions, some of them I already have translated. So if you go to Google.de and search for the attraction name you will see 2 Google listings for my site - one in English and one in German. Is this a problem? The two pages talk about the same thing but in different languages.


 7:09 pm on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Don't believe everything you read around the web - there's a lot of confusion in this area.

But it seems simple as I see it. Different languages means different "words" - as well as different users. No, translated content is not duplicate. Google wants and needs translated content to satisfy all their users. In addition, there is no duplicate content "penalty" per se, but rather everything gets filtered from the results but one URL. That would make no sense if the URLs involved are in different languages. The query terms would even be different!

The only way I see a site getting into trouble with translations is not because of duplicate content, but rather because of machine translation which Google can see as automated and low quality.


 7:31 pm on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks tedster.
As I mentioned before, I am translating manually the content. Can Google rush into conclusion that my translation is " machine translation" before they actually check it and see it is not?


 7:42 pm on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

No, that won't happen.


 9:14 pm on Dec 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am not sure about Automated Translation of content.

I agree with g1smd - avoid automated translation at all costs. Only create foreign language pages of your content if it is for users, not to try and rank SEO-wise in foreign search engines with MFAs. I've never found the gains to be worth the risks. Last time I tried it was 3-4 years ago though.

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