Google recently made some major improvements to its text translation tool. The new, updated version of the tool will allow users to translate almost anything – menus, bills, directions and much more, between 27 different languages.
The updated tool uses OCR to read text and translate it. Users can simply open the app on their mobile phone, take a photo of what they need translated, and then see the text transform into their chosen language, instantly. They are expanding the features for real-time voice translations too, and adding a further 20 languages. The app installs onto your phone, and once it is set up, no data connection is needed. This means that the tool will be particularly useful for holidaymakers who have limited data plans, or who have not purchased a data package at all for the country that they are travelling to.
Going Local with Google
Google is dedicated to the idea of offering a better experience to end users, especially when it comes to local search, and translations are a part of that. The search engine has become very efficient at recognising, and understanding, different languages, and identifying the locale that a website is aimed at.
Some websites target multinational audiences, and serve up slightly different versions of their content depending on where the searcher is from. Google aims to improve its offerings for such searchers by using locale header information in its requests, and tracking the versions of each page that are displayed to different visitors. While Google encourages webmasters to have different, country-specific TLDs for each country that they are targeting, it is making an effort to differentiate between the content shown to visitors from various countries.
Webmasters who want to make sure that they are able to reach international audiences should invest in international SEO services, offer properly translated content, and pay attention to the hosting services that they use. Ideally, your website should be hosted in the same country as the audience that you are targeting. If you are aiming for a multinational audience, then using a content delivery network with multiple points of presence will help to ensure that all of your users enjoy a smooth, fast and reliable experience.
Targeting a local audience will help to increase your footfall and your search ROI. The web may be a global thing, but if you haven’t considered how search plays out on a local level, you are missing out.