Google’s Now Translating SERPs Into More Languages

Google updated their documentation to reflect that it added eight new languages to its translated results feature, broadening the reach of publishers to an increasingly global scale, with automatic  translations to a site visitor’s native language.

Google Translated Results

Translated Results is a Google Search feature that will automatically translate the title link and meta description into the local language of a user, making a website published in one language available to a searcher in another language. If the searcher clicks on the link of a translated result the web page itself will also be automatically translated.

According to Google’s documentation for this feature:

“Google doesn’t host any translated pages. Opening a page through a translated result is no different than opening the original search result through Google Translate or using Chrome in-browser translation. This means that JavaScript on the page is usually supported, as well as embedded images and other page features.”

This feature benefits publishers because it makes their website available to a larger audience.

Search Feature Available In More Languages

Google’s documentation for this feature was updated to reflect that it is now available in eight more languages.

Users who speak the following languages will now have automatic access to a broader range of websites.

List Of Added Languages

Arabic
Gujarati
Korean
Persian
Thai
Turkish
Urdu
Vietnamese

Why Did It Take So Long?

It seems odd that Google didn’t already translate results into so many major languages like Turkish, Arabic or Korean. So I asked international SEO expert Christopher Shin (LinkedIn profile) about why it might have taken so long for Google to do this in the Korean language.

Christopher shared:

Google was always facing difficulties in the South Korean market as a search engine, and that has to do mainly with Naver and Kakao, formerly known as Daum.

But the whole paradigm shift to Google began when more and more students that went abroad to where Google is the dominant search engine came back to South Korea. When more and more students, travelers abroad etc., returned to Korea, they started to realize the strengths and weaknesses of the local search portals and the information capabilities these local portals provided. Laterally, more and more businesses in South Korea like Samsung, Hyundai etc., started to also shift marketing and sales to global markets, so the importance of Google as a tool for companies was also becoming more important with the domestic population.

Naver is still the dominant search portal, but not to retrieve answers to specific queries, rather for the purpose of shopping, reviews etc.

So I believe that market prioritization may be a big part as to the delayed introduction of Translated Google Search Results. And in terms of numbers, Korea is smaller with only roughly 52M nationwide and continues to decline due to poor birth rates.

Another big factor as I see it, has to do with the complexity of the Korean language which would make it more challenging to build out a translation tool that only replicates a simple English version. We use the modern Korean Hangeul but also the country uses Hanja, which are words from the Chinese origin. I used to have my team use Google Translate until all of them complained that Naver’s Papago does a better job, but with the introduction of ChatGPT, the competitiveness offered by Google was slim.”

Takeaway

It’s not an understatement to say that 2024 has not been a good year for publishers, from the introduction of AI Overviews to the 2024 Core Algorithm Update, and missing image thumbnails on recipe blogger sites, there hasn’t been much good news coming out of Google. But this news is different because it creates the opportunity for publisher content to be shown in even more languages than ever.

Read the updated documentation here:

Translated results in Google Search

Featured Image by Shutterstock/baranq

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