Why you shouldn’t use google translate for your website

Why you shouldn’t use google translate for your website

Google Translate is a free tool to translate words, phrases and websites from English into a foreign language. You might wonder, why pay for a translation service to convert content into another language when Google will do it for free?

Google Translate is fine for what it is designed to do – translate words. However, when you are translating extensive text and content, you may way to consider something a bit more professional and in-depth. Your business could be counting on it. Here’s why you shouldn’t use Google Translate for your website.

Google Views Word-for-Word Translation as Duplication

Google Translate or any similar “machine translation” does a word-for-word substitution. So you type in the English word, “revenue”, and Google comes up with the Spanish “ingresos”. If you just substitute one word for another, Google can consider your content as duplication. Moreover, if you translate your various meta-tags, JavaScript and CSS that goes into making your website available online, Google is certain to treat it as automatically-generated duplication.

Back in the early days of the Internet, websites would duplicate content as a way to increase the number and rate of search results. It was a way to game the system so as to achieve a higher Google ranking. Of course, the higher the Google ranking, the more new visitors you are likely to attract.

Consequently, if a Googlebot detects duplication, the website’s search ranking is penalized. While you could argue a translation targets a different audience, try telling that to Google. Even if Google decided that any translation, even if word-for-word, wasn’t a duplication and shouldn’t be penalized, you still wouldn’t want to do it.

Poor Quality Translation

Quality content is important in any language. Unfortunately, quality content is not important to machine translation technology.

There are countless websites dedicated to the errors Google Translate produces because it doesn’t understand words, grammar or syntax. It also does not check for errors. Consequently, a simple Google translation of web content often doesn’t make sense. Worse, it could inadvertently translate something in a way that could be wrongly interpreted.

Here’s an example using lyrics from the song “The girl from Ipanema”: A Google Translation of the English version of the song originally written in Portuguese: “Girl in the golden body, sun From Ipanema, The It swung its more than a poem”.

Such a translation makes your site and your business look unprofessional, which may cause you to lose potential customers who don’t want to struggle through your site’s lack of fluency. A  professional translation service ensures professional content that engages your foreign target audience. Engaged visitors, in any language, are more likely to become converted customers.   

Poor SEO Results

Just as it can’t be depended upon to make coherent and grammatically correct translations of content, Google Translate is equally incapable of considering search engine optimization (SEO). Keywords in English are not the same as keywords in another language; word-to-word substitution is not the same as translated meaning.

A professional translation service can provide the best keywords for the targeted foreign language, as well as other SEO recommendations. In many cases, it can also help you construct a website that is properly tagged and indexed so Google recognizes the pages are translated versions, not duplications.

Use a Real Translation Service, Not Google Translate

A properly translated multilingual website improves your search results and provides content relevant to your target audience. Google Translate is not designed to achieve this for your business. Contact BURG Translations to discuss your translation needs. We provide the languages you need to grow your business.