Is Google Okay With Minor Tweaks To Machine Translation?

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Machine Translation is used in most of the content translating processes. But is Google alright with the minor ‘tweaks’ found in them?

During Office hours for Google in October for search engine marketing, the discussion was on whether it was appropriate to use mechanically translated content assessed by a person. And only undergone minor editing adjustments.

Search Engine Marketing With Google: Episode For The Workplace

This episode of the office-hours hangout is the second unique pattern where questioning performs, followed by responses.

Lizzi Sassman and John Mueller from Google are the individuals responding to the queries.

Tech author Lizzi Sassman “looks after” a hangout during business hours.

There is no option to ask follow-up questions. Unlike in the previous live version when the audience submits queries in real time.

Because the answers replicate Google’s material, there are no additional inquiries.

google translate

They posed the question because they were concerned about machine-translated content from a different language. Besides minor alterations, they hired human editors to review the appropriate content. 

Naturally, it was worrying for the questioner about whether “little alterations” would be necessary to fit the material for Google.

Lizzi Sassman responds to the query in a way that complies with Google’s rules.

One could argue that the answer needs to have been clarified by requesting if “minor alterations” are adequate. In any case, the question asks if minor adjustments are sufficient for Google.

Acceptable Machine Translation Content: Moderate Editing?

They inquired:

A website offers posts in different languages by using machine translation.

After making a few minor tweaks, human translators typically find the high content quality.

Is this acceptable to Google?

Lizzi Sassman of Google replied:

It’s nice to hear that the job of the human translators satisfies them. As long as it involves a person in the review process, Google is allowed to do anything it wants with this information. Which is crucial.

Making sure that the quality remains high and functions appropriately for the people reading the information is what you want to keep an eye out for.

The response does not expressly address whether minor adjustments are acceptable; instead, it simply states that Google should be happy if the “human translators” are okay with it.

Again a question was asked:

Could Google use standard content quality signals rather than looking for machine translations of the text?

They replied:

We are unsure.

In the new Office Hours format, the questioner is not given a chance to ask a follow-up query.

Google’s Spam Guidelines

The Google developer guidelines on spammy material specifically reference automated text translation technology. And explain that spam is content that lacks a human element.

machine translation

According to Google’s documentation, examples of spammy, automated material are as follows:

An automatically translated text that has not undergone human editing or assessment.

Google’s published standards make it clear that utilizing machine translation is alright as long as a human is editing the content.

Before bringing up auto-translated content, John Mueller had examined the idea that AI-generated information. It is perceived as spam in a Google Office-Hours video from April 2022.

Mueller said the following at 24:55 in the April 2022 Workplace-Hours video:

I don’t know; that may progress, becoming more of a tool for people through time.

For instance, creating a translated version of the website using machine translation.

However, you continue to do it by hand.

See Also: Google released the Annual Search Spam Report

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