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Using Google Translation for Multi-Lingual Website, Good or Bad?

 1:19 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have a large site and would like to have it translated in 3 different languages but cost wise it is not viable. would it be safe just to create an index page for each language i.e index-ru.html, index-fr.html etc... and have my menu point to google's tranlate page so when they click say on my products page it will translate automatically.
does google frown on this?



 2:20 am on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't do it. I have no 100% proof that it causes ranking problems, however Matt Cutts has talked about using auto-translated content in a very negative way. This is especially true when each page has its own URL.

The biggest problem is that auto-translation is still very weak. If you essentially multiply your site's size by four, and 75% of those pages are poor grammar, then I think you could be risking a Panda problem.

If you really feel your customers need this, I'd say keep those auto-translated URLs out of the index, and preferably not crawled at all using a robots.txt Disallow rule.


 6:46 am on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

We used google translation for language pages and got them banned from google. So my advice is not to do that.


 9:05 am on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

how about just having the home page translated in the language we need and just have a link to the google translate page? woulds that be safer?


 1:08 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

How would people get to the translated version of the home page? If it's by clicking a link and these pages are noindex, then it's pretty safe I'd think. But if you try to automate the transfer, there are some major pitfalls and I'd urge you not to that.

As an example, when I stayed in a London hotel they were using a German ISP for their internet connections. For several sites, I could no longer get an English version of the site because they kept sending me to their German pages.


 1:14 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I know 2 big websites using it without a problem .


 6:18 am on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

tedster you mean to noindex my translated page? as I said my translated index page would have a link to the google translate page for visitors to view the rest of the site in their language. The main thing I wanted to do is just have index pages in several languages in order to have a chance to be found in different countries if the visitor finds that page I am sure they will understand to goo to google tranlate in order to navigate the site. any ideas or suggestions in order to do this safely?


 6:53 am on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

htdawg, your solution seems OK to me. As long as the translated index pages are done by humans then they are valid content. All the links from there go to Google Translate so it's not a duplicate content issue. Nofollow them just to be clear.

What would be bad (and what I think tedster is referring to) is if you decided to auto-translate the content, save it and then serve it up on your domain. That would not be a good idea due to the very low quality of the content. It often just looks like automatically spun spam content.

The only thing is you may not actually as much traffic as you would like on those translated index pages. Since they are just a single page there's really not a very strong signal to the bots that you are offering much value. You might want to expand your efforts to at least tackle a dozen or so of your top level pages.

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