Thursday, May 17, 2007

Optimize for Cross-Language Information Retrieval (CLIR)

Greg Sterling recently posted an article on Search Engine Land about Google's launch of Cross-Language Information Retrieval (CLIR) search services.

Greg states "Search queries will be entered in the native language, translated into English and run against Google's index. Any retrieved pages/sites will then be translated from English back into the native language".

As anyone who has ever used Google's translation tool knows, machine driven translations often butcher multi-word strings. If I were promoting an English site and wanted visitors in other languages to be able to find my site through these new CLIR powered search services I would discover what phrases people are searching for in each of my target languages and what English phrase Google translator returns for these queries.

If the English translation of the original query makes sense grammatically it may be worth it to use Google's translation of the native language phrase as one of my targeted key phrases.

Of course, for anyone wanting to get a foot hold with readers whose native language is not English I would recommend just translating your content. I like to use Click2Translate for most of my translation needs.

If you don't have the time or the resources to translate your content, optimizing for CLIR may be a good alternative.

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