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I saw some blogs in Turkish that contain translated content from English blogs. They are translated by humans not by automatic software.

I wonder if Google counts those pages as duplicate content or not? In reality, the content is duplicate clearly but is there a way for Google to detect this?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Duplicate content penalties are enforced to reduce the amount of useless content on the web and having redundant results in SERPs. Translating content into a different language is neither useless nor redundant. Someone who can't read English but reads Turkish won't be able to consume an English article. So it makes no sense for Google to discourage the translation of articles to other languages.

If translations were treated as duplicates, you'd have to use a canonical tag, and that would cause only the canonical version (usually) to be displayed in SERPs. That means the other language versions would be inaccessible to search users. This is why if you have different localizations of the same content, you don't use canonical to link them, you use the rel="translation" attribute and link them together by a hyperlink (link or a).

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It's very unlikely it would be duplicate content, because it's not really possible to reliably determine that one passage of text is a translation of another. You could take two similar English passages, translate them independently, and end up with the same content in the second language.

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