Global translator WordPress plugin problem for SEO

Global Translator Plugin SEO Problem

Global translator is  a WordPress plugin , which help you translate your WordPress blog into different languages and help you getting extra traffic from other languages search engine.

When I installed Global translator plugin, I was very happy because I started getting lots of traffic from various linguistic search engine.

It improved my Search engine traffic from 1k to 1.2K/per day.

Global translator was doing his work with full loyalty but soon I realized the downside of translating my blog post into different language:

# Lots of errors in Google webmaster tool : Google webmaster tool started showing lots of unreachable errors. See the screenshot

# Server load : With the translation it increase the server load to a great extent. Thanks to Dreamhost hosting that I have not faced any issue regarding server issue. Though many of other blogger friend who used this plugin faced the server issue. Server problem is one of the issue that Ajith mentioned his review on Global translator plugin.

# Web space : Global translator creates a seperate folder in your directory for different language. Like /ar, /hi and so on. It saves the cache of all the translated pages in the respected directory. So if you are not using any unlimited web space hosting , you will again face issue with web space.

# Violation of Google translator TOS :Another good point brought up by Amit Agarwal from labnol here is regarding TOS of Google translation API

You may copy, store, archive, republish or create a database of results returned from the service, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, except that you may store results in a temporary cache for a period not to exceed Fifteen (15) days solely for the purpose of using those results to carry out a specific user-requested action

He brought up the point, that Google TOS doesn’t allow to   store the translated pages for more then 15 days. Global translator plugin stores the pages for years.

# Translation of new pages : Though translation of new pages doesn’t happen automatically and it takes time to translate them.   Too many translation request might result in the banning of your IP and any request generating from/for your domain.

# Duplicate content :   Though changing language will save you from Google penalty of duplicate content but to make sure I checked the meta tag of translated page and found that meta tag for English and one of the translated page is exactly same, which is a big disaster for the SEO purpose. Google might penalize you in terms of either PR , slow indexing or no indexing of web page.

# Traffic variation : Though I mentioned above that using Global translator wordpress plugin helped me to get traffic from those corner of world, which I never thought of but later I realize it drastically changed my position in search engines. My earlier posts which were doing great in the search engine has gone down and few posts have come on no.1 in new languages.

So what next ?

For now I’m removing the Global translator plugin and then I will be removing the indexed foreign language web pages manually using Google webmaster URL remover tool. I know there are almost 4000+ indexed pages and I might see a great drop in my traffic graph.

For sure I’m going to enhance my 404 pages with Google custom search or adsense enabled search. Since I’m going to see lots of 404 error I might use this to increase my adsense revenue.

Alternatively I might use 404 notifier plugin to get notified of any 404 error on my blog.

I hope you have not checkmark the option to include your translated pages in sitemap. If yes, you might need to spend more time removing pages from Google index.

Also read : Why clement uninstall the Global translator plugin?

What I have learnt here?

This is a great set back for me at the starting of my full time blogging career. Though I simply pray I won’t face any major issues in terms of SEO and my search engine traffic here. As it is I never advocated use of lots of plugins, but one thing which is very important here is, never make any changes in your blog which can have permanent consequences.

Before installing any plugin , instead of searching for benefit, search for drawback.

Are you one of the victim of Global translator plugin ?

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Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a passionate blogger. He is blogging since 2008 & writes about Blogging, SEO, Make money online & tech. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives 1 million Pageviews/month and have over 700K subscribers.


COMMENTs ( 48 )

  1. says

    I had the same problem with the Transposh plugin, although i thought the plugin was helpful at one point, i didn’t realize all the 404 errors & broken URLs until later. Even, after uninstalling the plugin, i’m still trying to figure out how to remove the effect of that plugin completely from my database.

  2. says

    Hey Harsh,
    The issue you discussed here happened the same with me but i have used Transposh plugin instead Global Translator. After reading some positive posts about Transposh plugin, i installed it on my new project site as obviously some days it gave me awesome traffic but when i figured the actual thing behind the scene, removed it. But the biggest mistake i had done that didn’t blocked the languages folder in robots.txt and these were indexed. My Google Webmaster tools account was full of 404 errors. Somehow i reduces the errors using “Permalink Finder” plugin but all these translated pages start showing in Google SERP’s. My project site traffic dropped to 60% due to this bullshit plugin and now after so many days and struggling, it’s back on the track. This was the biggest mistake, i have ever made in my Blogging carrier.

    So, think hundred times before installing a read out its drawbacks, features and reviews.

  3. Rose says


    I experienced the same problem when running my SEO optimizing software. and glad to find this article, and now is removing my traslator plugin

  4. rajeevphp2011 says

    we are want some word not translate; how to use ?

    for example we want ‘ WordPress’ word in all language same

  5. TheShadow says

    Hi,Thanks for these wonderful post.I have a doubt some wordpress themes have language pack preinstalled in theme functions.php which helps in translating blog to other languages.recently i bough a premium theme with this feature a few days later i check my webmaster tools i found nearly 1000+ not found page.Will removing cod from functions.php reduce or completely remove not found page?

  6. wordpress tutorials says

    Today I am seeing my traffic source and got some of my visitor read my blog’s using Google translator. Then immediately i installed global translator. That’s all are fine for me.

    After installing I have planed to write a tutorial about installing global translator and found this post. I read whole post and search more in Google. Now I am confirmed that this plugin has some problem for SEO.
    I uninstalled it and now using Google translator. Thanks for your valuable information.


  7. Ankit Saini says

    Hi Harsh,
    Thanks for writing such a great article….
    I also got the same problem with this plugin…
    As a Great result of this plugin, I lost all my rankings in google.

  8. davtheultimate says

    For me, i have no problems with 404 erros, 11500 pages translated with no expiration time.

    But like Scott, now new pages take a long time (10-15 days) to appear in google but my traffic doesn’t decline.

    I don’t know if i must remove this plugin

  9. Living Hour says

    Thanks for detailing your experience. I had considered installing that translation plugin, but now I think I’ll stay away.

  10. Ron says

    For me, it was working nice.. but now after upgrading my blog to WP 3.0 it is not working..

    previous url like would show the italian translation of the post but now it does not show the translation, instead it redirects to (original post)

    anyone has face the same issue?

  11. Kristina M. says

    Great share, great article, very usefull for me. Your thought of article is very much creative and interesting to read.

  12. Scott says

    I installed this plug-in about a month ago, and then I started noticing that google was not indexing my site as often. Post would take 5-7 day to appear in google and I have seen my us traffic decline. I too am removing the plug-in.

  13. Anand says

    I installed this plugin yesterday and when I tried to login to admin panel I got 404 error page. I removed the plugin files and now working well.

  14. Vittorio says

    I’m using the GT plugin from a couple of moths and I’m not experiencing the problems you mentioned. I’m using the PRO (paid) version.

    # Lots of errors in Google webmaster tool
    I’m having no errors with the version of the plugin I’ve installed

    # Too many translation request might result in the banning of your IP
    # Server load
    The PRO version caches the pages generated by the users using the “client based translation system”. No server load and translation is done from the user IP.
    So I set the “Translation engine connection” to 1200 seconds limiting automatic translation to one page every 20 minutes. Reducing banning and server load problems.

    # Web space
    Enabling cache compression I have 6500 translated pages using 45Mb of space.
    The odd thing is that I only have 1300 translated pages in my sitemap. I’m trying to understand why.

    # Duplicate content
    There are two options to check in the plugin:
    – Remove meta tags of type “keywords” and “description” from the translated pages.
    – Append the language description to the title of the page.

    # Traffic variation
    I’m having a little burst in traffic (5-10%), that’s means few peoples from other corners of the word found usefull information they can’t found anywhere else.

    As mine is a non-english zero-profit blog, having visits from people finding the information they are looking for is very important.

  15. Amit Sharma says

    I am trying things on my new blog. As I bought my domain yesterday only , so its not risky to try anything. I also installed global translator and uninstalled it after reading several posts as above. Later I installed qtranslator and again uninstalled it. But even after removing the plugins completely, I see the links are working though they show the same english page on all pages of other languages. suppose “amitsharma. co. in” is my site the italian language site “amitsharma. co. in /it” is still working and shows english homepage. Any clue so as to what should i do?

  16. Digital Conqurer says

    Hii Harsh, I was just thinking about installing global translator plugin for my blog whihc has started getting 1K visits per day, though I can increase visitors by installing this plugin. Thanks for the warning about this plugin.

    • says

      Digital you may, but than your ranking will completely change in every country and from my bad experience, I wont suggest to try if your blog primary language is english.

  17. bluemontoya says

    This plugin is incredible! It might not work for you, but it works for me. I know couple of bloggers that have successfully installed global translator to work for their site. The only problem for this plugin is crawl errors, sometime Google bot won’t reach the actual translate site. There are 6 or 7 countries that is against TOS, it should not be included. Go to Macuha dot com and search on Global translator to find out the countries. If you have included them, make sure to disallow them in your robot.txt file.

  18. sexy2funny says

    Harsh Agrawal,I learned a lot from your post,First thanks,sec,I bookmark your blog…

  19. Neko Auto says

    how to remove those cached pages of our blog which are already indexed by Google ?? didnt heard about this probs getting from Global Translator before. its like shocking for me as i have this on all my blogs :(

    • says

      Hey Shirleen,
      Do let me know if your problem is resolved by now or not. If not Do inform me using contact me page and I will resolve your issue personally. :)

  20. Shirleen says

    Hi Harsh,

    Frankly, I feel like pulling my hair now. Now my web crawl errors have increased significantly. HELP ME, please!

    Now, there are – 7 errors for URLs in sitemaps; 159 not found; 32 URLs not followed, 138 URLs restricted by robots.txt; 430 unreachable URLs!

    The numbers of “unreachable URL” & “not found” errors did not reduce at all. Since I have earlier removed the language folder directory and uploaded the robot.txt, should I just ignore these errors? Will these errors affect my SEO?


  21. Money Academy says

    this plugin have much supporters from webmasters which use it and they like it , in other hand some webmasters don’t like it and removed it , for me i’m confused .. do i use it or no , now i’m 90% will not use it but i heard it bring traffic for my blog if i used it and my blog still new and need more traffic .

    • says

      When I searched for support on many forums, 50% people supported this plugin.. But looking at stats and other things which I have mentioned in the post. I decided to remove it.

  22. Shirleen says

    Thanks Harsh. Yes yes I’ve done it! Well, now I’m so afraid to install new plugin. :-)

  23. Shirleen says

    Hi Harsh,

    I’m ready to upload my robots.txt file but 1 more question. Where can I locate the ‘root’ of my site, from my hosting panel (dreamhost) or at the Webmaster Tools? Thanks a million. :-)

  24. Shirleen says

    Hi Harsh,

    Thanks so much. I have tried removing the language directories but were denied eventually, reason as I didn’t apply the appropriate robot.txt file to block from indexing the pages. Though I only have 3 languages which are ja, ko and zh-CN, my unreachable urls have reached to 400+ yesterday. Sweating……..
    I have downloaded the robots.txt file using Block>Googlebot>my directories under ‘Generate robots.txt’. But do I need to save it to my ‘site’s top-level directory’? Btw, where is it located?
    Did I miss any step? Thanks again.

  25. Shirleen says

    Thanks for this post. I’ve uninstalled this plugin after reading these. It such a painful experience. I have 200 over errors and can anyone guide me on the language folders from google index. Where are they located? Thanks.

  26. Staging says

    Hello, great information! I am currently having the same experience. This was my first wordpress site and I used the global translator plugin. Right now, I have over 1,300 errors in my sitemap that are attributable to this plugin.

    I will follow your advise and deactivate the plugin and painfully remove each url one by one using the webmaster google url removal tool. :-(

    Can anyone please advise me how to adjust my robots.txt file to ensure no further crawling of translated sites? A few of you indicated that this was one of your methods to solve this problem. Much appreciated!

  27. says

    All the issues mentioned by you are because of Global translator plugin except the translator TOS issue.
    The taragana plugin (paid one) does not have any such issue and more over google itself has said that it does not take meta tags into much consideration for duplicate content. Moreover the webmasters blog says that post in different languages does not qualify for duplicate content.

  28. Michael Aulia says

    Yeah, I think this plug-in will hurt in the long run.. I’m uninstalling the plug-in now. Will provide a complete uninstall step by step later in my blog

    • says

      You are right Michael
      Though plugin works great but have lots of glitch.
      Some added functionality and removing major bugs will make it very productive.

  29. Ajith Edassery says

    Hi Harsh,
    Thanks for linking to my post. I have been away for a while… Will follow your blogosphere activities more closely from now onwards.


  30. Clement says

    Many thanks for the link to my post on this issue. I went through the same painful experience that you are going through.I see that you have explained some more setbacks caused by this plugin.But I am glad now because my blog is fast returning to normal. I deactivated this plugin and I removed all the folders that it created from Google’s index using Google webmaster URL remover tool. I also denied all robots access to the said folders in my robots.txt file. I advise you and everyone in a similar situation to do the same.

    • says

      @ Clement
      I understand how it feels ..
      Meanwhile even I did the same .. Removed all language folder from Google index using webmaster tool and edited my robots.txt file
      Will keep updating about the latest happening…
      Though I’m sure I might see drop in the traffic spike for a while….