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Don’t Limit Hispanic Optimization To Site Translation

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Whenever I have any topics relating to optimizing for the Hispanic online population, I normally consult a friend who know a great deal more about the Hispanic search market than I do to get a better grasp of what has been done and what else needs to be done to make a site an attractive option for the Hispanic audience.

Such was the case with Orchard Supply Hardware, who recently launched a Hispanic version of their ecommerce site with the help of MotionPoint’s TransMotion technology. MotionPoint offers site translation from English to Espanol.

I sent the press release to Nacho Hernandez in order to gauge his reaction and to perhaps get a quote or two to supplement my previous article. However, in his responses, Nacho offered so much good information, I felt it necessary to write a follow-up article using Nacho’s points and tips as the focus.

One thing Nacho emphasized is translating your site to Spanish is not enough, in fact, it’s only the beginning. He does remind us that human translation is preferred over machine translations. As many of know from using BabelFish, machine translations are far from exact, instead they provide users with an idea of what the text being translated means. While he commended OSH for actually offering a Hispanic version of their site, Nacho offered the following criticism:

Unfortunately, neither OSH nor MotionPoint has placed enough attention into the optimization of its web pages for search engines…

To back up his point, Nacho points out that OSH’s Hispanic version of their site resides on MotionPoint’s server, which is apparent when you look at the URL:

http://www.trans1.motionpoint.net/osh/enes/?24;http://www.osh.com/Cultures/en-US?ft=true

Because of this, whenever a site links to OSH’s Hispanic site, they will not receive any search engine benefits from these backlinks. Developing a Hispanic version of your site in order to attract this audience is just like any other marketing endeavor that makes use of the Internet and search: You cannot “set it and forget it.” You have to be an active participant in the not only the translation of the site but also the optimization what’s just been translated.

Just because a site sports a bi-lingual presentation does not mean its going to be any easier to find by either the search engines or the audience that’s being targeted. Nacho furthers this point by saying:

Going through the website I was able to spot other potential factors that may need optimization, but it seems it has nothing to do with either MotionPoint’s technology or OSH’s marketing objectives.

In my opinion, it’s most likely the result of two companies working very well together to achieve a common goal but just forgot to add the right team member into this project: the search engine marketer. I’m positive there are hundreds, if not thousands of solid professionals in our search marketing industry that would have easily pointed out this error. Companies need to realize that they need this type of professional into their mix of team members.

As you can see from Nacho’s advise, translation is just the beginning. Optimization of the translated material goes hand-in-hand. Also, having the translated site or page hosted on your own server is important as well, especially if you want your site to receive any link credit from the search engines.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

Don’t Limit Hispanic Optimization To Site Translation
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