Is Google Translate Effective For Website Translations?

There are all sorts of benefits associated with translating your website, everything from helping you to increase your customer base and keeping up with the competition to building trust in your brand and helping you to strengthen your position on a global scale.

However, it’s important to make sure that your final translation is up to scratch and of a professional standard – or it could have the opposite intended effect and actually end up driving customers away if you’re not careful.

Of course, it’s tempting to want to shortcut the process and make use of the technology we have at our easy disposal in the digital age to get the job done – and done quickly.

But while there may well be an argument for efficiency gains from a business perspective, you don’t want to compromise on quality in any way, as this could really damage your brand reputation and make you look foolish on the world stage.

The first port of call for many organisations when considering translation services for their website is, perhaps naturally, Google Translate. We’re so used to heading straight to the search engine to help us find what we want, so perhaps it’s just a natural progression to try the translation arm of the tech giant on for size.

But this could actually prove to be very detrimental, not just to the outward perception of your brand but also to the performance of your site in search engines themselves.

One increasingly important part of establishing a strong and robust online presence is search engine optimisation (SEO), where digital techniques and practices are employed to drive websites up the rankings in search for a range of industry-relevant search terms and keywords.

But using Google Translate as an option could actually have a big impact on your rankings, contravening Google’s own set of rules and algorithms for what gets pages to rank.

Free online tools such as this Google offering are often very inaccurate, providing you with literal word for word translations of your web copy. This means it may be nonsensical for local audiences, producing confusing content and increasing your bounce rate… which will have a -effect for search.

Multilingual SEO is essential if your website is to be well prepared to engage with foreign markets, allowing your new demographics to search and find you online. But it’s important that the right pages are put in front of the right people, based on location and language – which is where automated translation services can fall down.

Given that Google will penalise sites that use automated content, including copy that has been automatically translated without human review prior to publication, the case for using humans for accurate translations is made. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us today.

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