Google Drops “Translated Foreign Pages” Search Option Due To Lack Of Use

google-translateGoogle has quietly dropped the “Translated Foreign Pages” search filter from the Google search options menu.

Google tells us the option was removed due to lack of use, but they say they are still committed to making the Web available to as many people, in as many languages, as possible.

The translated foreign pages search option enabled searchers to restrict the search results to specific languages only. So, if you want to search for something in English and then show results for that search result in French, you could have used this search option for that. Dan Russell, Google’s Search Research Scientist, who gives the Google Power Searcher class, explained how useful this feature was on his personal blog.

Here is a picture of that feature:


A the Google spokesperson told us:

Removing features is always tough, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users. Unfortunately, this feature never saw much pick up — but you can still use Chrome to translate entire pages very easily, with a built-in translation bar that helps you read content on the Web, regardless of the language.

This feature was removed shortly after Google removed two other search options including related searches and instant previews – both due to lack of usage. Removing features and products is nothing new to Google, some things stick and some do not.

This one, however, seemed to be an implication from Google that they are giving up on their promise of cross-language search, as we covered in 2007 with our posts Google Searchology: CLIR and Views and Google Launches ‘Cross-Language Information Retrieval (CLIR)’.

Google says not so. Per their statement above, Google is still committed to translation. However, there is just no easy way to return and restrict to specific languages for English-based queries now.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Google: Translate | Google: Web Search | Search Features: Natural Language | Search Features: Query Refinement


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Jawad Latif

    I never used this feature in my life.

  • Jeroen Bosman

    Noticed this immediately and it makes me sad and makes me wonder:

    Sad because apparently few people are looking for easy ways to break out of their culture and language bubbles. I tend to link this to the slow speed at which world peace is reached.

    And I wonder what would be the cost for Google of keeping this option.

  • Angela Self

    As a translator this was an invaluable tool, providing cross references and in-depth information on the topic I was translating, especially those technical jobs – it also served to verify the accuracy of Google Translate. I find it hard to believe that it has been discontinued due to “lack of use”. Please, please bring it back!

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