A few months ago I decided to open up my blog to new prospects by using a translation plugin called Global Translator Pro.
At first it seemed like a really good idea to be able to get my affiliate marketing information out to the whole world, however I really didn’t think this through and went ahead and installed this translation plugin without doing any research about its effects.
Why I Uninstalled The Translation Plugin
It all started about two months ago just after the Google™ Panda update when I started to notice errors appearing in my webmaster tools statistics. At first I didn’t think much of it and thought it would just correct itself, as I had previously experienced some server problems.
However overtime I saw more and more 503 errors appearing on the translated pages which were now starting to grow into the thousands which was a real concern.
I did some research and used the translators option page to change those errors over to 302 errors instead of getting 503 errors.
I thought this would help out with all the translation errors I was now starting to receive, however it didn’t they just kept on coming.
Then All My Internal Pages Were Grey Barred By Google
It really did not matter what I actually did the errors started to grow to the stage were I was showing more than 9000 problems in my Webmaster tools. Then one morning I noticed something that was even more concerning and that was all my internal pages had been grey barred in Google and my traffic had dropped by at least two thirds of what it was.
I might say this, though my pages were still all in the Google index but the page rank of all of those pages had been removed, which was why all my traffic had also dropped so dramatically.
Uninstalling The Global Translation Plugin Was Not Enough…
Once I realized what was happening I quickly deactivated the plugin hoping this would fix the problem, after all, two years of hard work was vanishing before my eyes and I seemed to be helpless to stop it, in fact at one stage I gave up trying and was prepared to walk away from my site.
Over the last week I have been very busy getting all of this fixed and putting my site back in order…
Firstly I went to my robots.txt file and then added the directories that I needed to be removed from Google’s™ Index, and not just the languages I had used on my site, but all 48 languages that are part of the Global Translator Plugin.
Here is an example of how I structured the Robot.txt for Google™
I added this for every language, the asterisks is to ensure that everything in the directory is also disallowed in the Google™ index. However I was not finished yet, once I had that all setup the next step was to go into my webmaster tools and manually submit all these translated directories to the “Remove URL” function in the Webmaster tools so I could have all these pages removed.
I also then went into my CPanel and created a *wildcard 301 redirect for everyone of these translated pages, wild card means that everything inside the directory will be redirected to another page.
The next step which I am about to make will be removing all traces of the Global translation plugin from my database files if the problems do not stop, hopefully they will as I am no expert when it comes to messing around in a MYSQL database.
For anyone that wants to use a translation service such as this on your site you need to block all the translated pages from Google™ using your robots.txt file. You should also consider using a VPS server to host the site were you have access to more than one IP address, because if your site is busy you will see thousands of errors such as I did, and I had five IP’s available.
If you really need to use some form of translation on your site maybe you should simply use what Google™ offers to avoid all the problems that I have just experienced and are actually still having to experience.
I am not saying don’t use the Plugin, what I am saying is make sure you do all the research first and find out what other people are saying and what problems they have had using these types of plugins or programs.
My site had very few errors before installing the Global Translation plugin and thousands once it was installed.
Gail Gardner says
I am really glad I never installed a translator plugin back when I was considering it. It sounds like you’ve had enough problems for both of us!
Yes you are right, the problems that are associated with this are still ongoing and i too really wish i had of stopped and thought about the consequences of using something like this. I have sent a request to Google To see if they will reconsider my internal pages and nearly all of the errors have now disappeared from my webmaster tools account.
Hopefully this is the end of it. If you want to use any form of language translation on your site then make sure it is the one that Google provides or make sure that you are not allowing any of the translated pages to appear in the serps which really defeats the purpose of doing it.
Thanks for the review and what will help it. I haven’t had problems with this so far (knock on wood). What other plugin would you suggest in place of Global Translator?
If I was to have a translator on my site again it would be the one that Google has, no third party plugins at all. And if I really had a need for one, meaning a plugin then I would make sure I had all the translated pages listed as “Disallow:” in the robots text file as I explained in the post.
Wait, did you do this to appear on Google for other languages than English? Or was it just a translate button? I don’t get it.
Speaking of translation I see a lot of poorly translated websites out there that are still high in the search results. I guess Google is more stupid that I thought…
I did it to provide different languages of my site in the search engines and give a better user experience as I was getting requests for translations, but what I ended up getting were numerous errors being reported. The translation pages were created in separate folders such as my domain name then /ko/ for the Korean language or /it/ for Italian. All these pages were being indexed into the serps and each language had its own flag (link) again with the country code as I have shown.
Yeah I can imagine what the problem is, often the translated pages turn into total jibberish and therefore Google interprets them as having “dubous content” etc. Those who do not speak english will most likely not know what your blog is about.