Google has recently shut down its Website Translator that users and website owners could use to translate entire websites.
A visit to Google Translate’s Website Translator shows the following message:
We no longer provide new access to Google Translate’s Website Translator. This change does not affect existing use of the Website Translator.
The Website Translator was popular among website owners and bloggers who could put a little widget on their website. Visitors to their sites could use that Google Translate widget to instantly translate the website into 100+ languages supported by Google Translate.
As of writing this, the website translator service linked above still says “Make Your Website available in 100+ languages” in its title (browser tab).
As the company noted, the service is still available to those who have already installed it on their websites. But for new users, Google encourages “to use browsers that support translation natively.”
In other words, use Google Chrome.
Google is no stranger to turning off services it deems unprofitable (or something in the negative aspect). While it’s true that Chrome users do get the option (but not always) to translate the entire site into a different language whenever the site’s language is not the same as that of the user’s computer, it can’t be understated that a Google Translate widget was still useful for many visitors, including those who are not using Chrome as their default browser.
To clarify, Google Translate service itself is not going away. The website owner and bloggers’ ability to put a widget on their site that would allow visitors to automatically translate into another language regardless of what browser they are using has been shut down.
I can see some users frustrated with this decision, but as some people put it, once something is headed for the Google graveyard, there is no coming back from it.