Early this year, Google officially stopped access to Website Translator - a valuable tool that allowed free content translation in a variety of languages.
For businesses and professionals with a website pulling in a global audience, Google Website Translator was embeddable in widget form, providing visitors with simple, passable language translation at the click of a mouse. However, a visit to its main page now displays the message:
“We no longer provide new access to Google Translate’s Website Translator. This change does not affect existing use of the Website Translator. We encourage users looking to translate web pages to use browsers that support translation natively.”
Why Google has renounced one of its most popular tools is widely considered to be due to the increasing unreliability of machine translation. In contrast with human translation, machine translation, depending on the content, can be unsatisfactory and, in some cases, outright unusable. This, in addition to API abuse and the difficulty of maintaining the quality of the vast indexed content, has seen many turn their heads to new and improved applications.
While the tool is now deemed obsolete by Google - with hopeful new users no longer able to access the Google Website Translator widget - current users with functioning access may wake up one day to find this to be the opposite. So, what next?
Cloud Translation and Other Website Translator Alternatives
If your web content requires translation, the “rebirth” of Google Website Translator is Google Cloud Translation. Aimed at professionals and businesses, Google’s Cloud Translation is the successor to Google Website Translator with dynamic and newly improved neural machine translation. But - and you guessed it - it isn’t for free, and comes with a cost based on the word count of the translated content.
There are other solutions, and one is GTranslate, which utilises Google Translate machine translation with the power to translate into over 100 different languages. It’s also highly compatible with SEO web content, making it a tool that’s worth looking into for businesses.
Unlike Cloud Translation, GTranslate, along with several other translation tools, is free, and while that’s cost-effective, it’s worth considering the perspective of your audience who may notice your business has taken the free route. This is where you can consider the more affordable option of only providing translations on your website’s most important pages, such as your main products and services pages, important blog posts and news announcements.
What are your thoughts on Google’s new direction to website translation? Let us know in the comments below!