Is Google Crawling Your Content? Check Google Translate

Dec 12, 2012 • 8:58 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google TranslateTypically, if you are unsure if Google is able to crawl and index your content - you can login to Google Webmaster Tools and use the fetch as GoogleBot tool.

But if you do not want to use that tool, you can simply use Google Translate and see if Google Translate can access your site.

The tip came up in a Google Webmaster Help thread where John Mueller from Google explained to one webmaster that the reason Google is not indexing his site is because when GoogleBot tries to crawl it, the server is redirecting the bot to

He showed this happening by sending him a link to Google Translate which shows the Google home page loading.

Clearly this is a move by a server guy to block spiders from crawling the site.

Tony McCreath tipped me off to this thread and in a private discussion area John from Google added (I am pretty sure he won't mind me sharing this despite it being in a private forum):

Google Translate is generally based on a real-time fetch of the page, the cached-version is usually a bit older. I think the feature-phone proxy also does something similar, but I'm not sure if that's really still around :).

Some hacked sites react to all kinds of Google IP addresses, so you can use tricks like this to trigger them. Others react to the user-agent (sometimes you can trigger them by using the Googlebot user-agent), others explicitly watch for Googlebot IP addresses, which you can't really check unless you're a verified owner in Webmaster Tools.

Since the preview images are generated either by Googlebot (when cached) or similar to Google Translate (when fetched live), sometimes you can reproduce quirks there using these tricks. It's not guaranteed, but it's a good tool to have on your side :)

Many of you probably knew this already but just in case.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Oleg Korneitchouk

12/12/2012 03:25 pm

Another way is to check G cache

Barry Schwartz

12/12/2012 03:27 pm

That isn't real time

Oleg Korneitchouk

12/12/2012 03:34 pm

Hmm, so whats the implication for indexing? If you G Translate an unindexed site, will it be instantly added?

Shadab Malik

12/12/2012 05:25 pm

it may not be instantly added but i m sure it will be queued.

Jamie Bates

12/12/2012 06:40 pm

Seems like a great quick test. if nothing else, this at least drew an eyebrow raise and an interested "huh..." out of me.

Ashok Sharma

12/25/2013 03:15 am

Such very unusual kind of experience is real essence of Internet and it need to be more popular. Thanks for the article

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