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Is the third option triggered in a similar fashion to Google UK - i.e. Either a .uk top-level domain or a server in the UK (according to Google geo-locating)?
How about the second option? I assume it's not based on "content-language" meta tag, so what's the trigger?
>third option triggered in a similar fashion to Google UK
Exactly. It's currently either ccTLD, i.e. .de, AND/OR local hosting.
From the translation FAQ:
We only offer the "Translate" link when we have a high degree of confidence about the language of the selected page. Some pages may contain multiple languages or insufficient text to provide a high degree of certainty about the language in which they were written.
So it follows that they are looking at the text to decide what language the site is in.