I was amazed how quickly and interesting the conversation that developed following my post asking how good translator plugins were. I thought I should highlight in a post part of the thread for those of you who haven’t read the comments, so that you will think twice before you install that Translation plugin you’ve got your eye on. (If you haven’t subscribed to the comments feed yet btw I’d advise doing so, as it’s getting to the point where the comments left on my site are better than the posts!)
This is because when Google’s robots translated pages it struggles to put them into context because the context is poor. Also, because these pages get very little of traffic and almost no inlinks all that’s being achieved is the creation of potentially thousands of poor quality pages as far as Google is concerned. These pages will be counted against the site in question, and Google will lower the relevancy of the other pages on the site, including the English language pages as a result.
As soon as I learnt this I turned Angsuman’s translator plugin off straight away. Not only did this make my server happier as this plugin is a major resource drain, the next time Google indexes my site it should hopefully bump up the ranking of a lot of my pages.