Google: Using Google Translate Is A Form Of Auto-Generated Content Spam

Oct 16, 2013 • 8:28 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Translate LogoGoogle's John Mueller said in black and white in a Google Webmaster Help thread that using Google Translate to translate your whole site, is the same thing as "auto-generated content."

This should come to no surprise to anyone here. In fact, the first time Google came out on this was back in August 2010 and then it became really official when Matt Cutts released a video on the this topic on March 2011.

If you read the content guidelines section on automatically generated content, it spells it out there too saying:

Text translated by an automated tool without human review or curation before publishing

Trust me, a few years ago, this was not seen as a spam tactic.

Here is Matt's video:

John, in the thread mentioned above, responded with concern about the translation on the site. John said:

I don't know if others have mentioned it, but the translations on your site appear to be very bad. Keep in mind that automatic translations are seen as auto-generated content from our point of view, and should be blocked from crawling / indexing.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Gareth Goddard

10/16/2013 12:35 pm

Yeah matt they don't speak French over in Canada or anything do they.

Michael Martinez

10/16/2013 01:56 pm

Many years ago I used autotranslation on a popular Website and received numerous complaints from non-English speakers. Let the user decide when to use autotranslation.


10/16/2013 02:21 pm

Does it mean that a website with 10 million images with description can never go international?

Stuart David

10/16/2013 02:40 pm

Fair enough, but whats the point in their on-the-fly Translate API that they charge access for then. So many mixed signals come out of that place the past 12-24 months, they provide products, that contradict what they actually want, I want to understand them better and why they say one thing, and do/provide the complete opposite somewhere else in the company.

Snehal Joshi

10/17/2013 06:36 am

If you are looking of using the content directly, there might be an issue in terms of the term and condition of translate service, and this is more likely to cause content-based issues (since you will have no way of knowing what the content actually is!).


10/18/2013 04:49 am

If a person used Google's auto generate to translate their website, is Google saying that sonmeone has to review the translated site before Google can crawl it?


10/18/2013 04:57 am

Not primarily no. Just like they don't speak espanol in the US? At least the spanish speaking contingent in the US isn't as ignorant as the quebecers.

Katie Lynn

10/18/2013 08:16 am Google Play has used above structure with hreflang tag, and all version are being cached at the moment. Isn't it consider as a auto translated content spam?

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