Some of you may have seen the post at TechCrunch which has a screen capture of Google Translate translating the name "Vimeo" into YouTube. Vimeo is a popular competitor to YouTube and as you can imagine, Vimeo's owners and fans don't consider Vimeo to be YouTube. But yet, when you plugged in the name Vimeo to Google Translate, it returned the translation of YouTube.
In fact, a Vimeo representative posted a thread at Google Web Search Help asking for assistance. Andrea Allen, Vimeo Community Assistant, said:
I almost filed this under the libel and slander section, but figured I'd post it here first. ;-)
Anyone at Google care to comment on this highly unexpected result?
Andrea Allen Vimeo Community Assistant
Andrea also posted in the Google Groups for Google Translate. Soon after, Google Translate stop translating Vimeo into YouTube. I assume it happened soon after the TechCrunch post.
This incident got me thinking. We know Google Translate is not a pure dictionary. It uses search data and their knowledge of words on the web to pick different translations. I can see how Vimeo would algorithmically be translated into YouTube. Which made me think... Can Google Translate terms be hijacked or Google Bombed to convert your brand name into your competitors name?