Google Responds To Auto-Translated Content Spam Issue; It's About Intent

Sep 17, 2018 • 8:14 am | comments (0) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Since 2010 we knew that using Google Translate or other automatic machine translation services to convert content from one language to another and to rank it in Google was against Google's guidelines. But recently some are saying with Google Translate getting much better, it has been harder for Google to discover what is machine vs human translated.

One SEO brought up the issue in a hangout with John Mueller last month at the 48:01 mark and John from Google responded saying it is possible that Google isn't able to figure out some cases. He said even more so, it isn't about web sites doing this with good intent but those that use auto-translate service to spin and auto-generate content for spam purposes.

Here is the question:

I'm seeing a lot of websites with auto generated content being ranking with domain name extensions which are very weird and very new. And all the content is basically autogenerate. And here is the tricky question because most recently black hatters are abusing the Google Translation API.

Is it possible that the Googlebot is fooled by its own services because it uses artificial intelligence to translate the content and the translations are getting better and better. So when somebody creates hundreds of pages of auto translated content, the Googlebot is fooled by this content and thinks that it's human readable, that's normal content?

Here is how John responded:

That could always be the case.

I think that's something that from our point of view we can't exclude that possibility completely. I think the kind of the improvements that are happening with regards to automatically translated content. I think that's something that has has both pros and cons, in that it might be used by by sites that are essentially spamming content, like in the way that you're describing. It could also be used by sites that are legitimately providing translations on a website and they just start with like the auto translated version and then they improve those translations over time.

So that's something where I wouldn't necessarily say that using translated content like that would would be completely problematic but it's more a matter of the intent and kind of the bigger picture what what they're doing. If they're essentially just spinning content and hoping that it ranks, then that that would be more of a problem for us.

And as always feel free to send me examples. I'm happy to take a look at each point with the team.

See John admitted "That could always be the case" that Google isn't able to tell. But he added, it depends on the bigger picture of what the site is doing, he said it is "more a matter of the intent and kind of the bigger picture what what they're doing." "If they're essentially just spinning content and hoping that it ranks, then that that would be more of a problem for us," he added. He then suggested you share these examples with him so he can dig into them.

Here is the video embed:

Here is Glenn's tweet that highlighted this:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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