Does Google Think Minor Tweaks To Machine Translations Are Okay?

Back in October of 2022, Google’s SEO office-hours discussed whether or not it’s okay to use automatically translated content that has been reviewed by a human and subjected to only minor editing changes. In that episode, we got questions answered by both Lizzi Sassman and John Mueller.

The question that was asked was:

“A site uses machine translation to offer posts in other languages.

The content is reviewed by human translators and they’re often happy with the quality after the minor tweaks.

Is this okay for Google?”

Google’s Lizzi Sassman answered:

“Well that’s good to hear that the human translators are happy and this is totally fine for Google as long as there’s a human involved in the review process. That’s the key.

The thing you want to watch out for is making sure that the quality continues to be good and working well for the humans that are reading the content.”

Mueller spoke about AI content-generating tools and compared them to auto-translation tools.

At the 24:55 minute mark of the April 2022 Office-Hours video, Mueller said:

“I think, I don’t know, over time, maybe this is something that will evolve, in that it will become more of a tool for people.

Kind of like you would use machine translation as a basis for creating a translated version of a website.

But you still… essentially work through it manually.”

Listen to the Google Office Hours hangout at the 17:50 minute mark.

Scott Davenport

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