The best things in life are free? Google Translate clamps down on Terms of Service abuse

Google Translate is the most popular translation software in the world. And it is free. But is it becoming too popular? It appears that Google is making some effort to curtail the use of its translation software by shutting down websites and software applications that use the Google Translate API in violation of its terms.

Whenever you install an application on your website that was developed using the Google Translate API, you had better make sure that your website does not violate its ToS. For if you do, Google may block or throttle your website’s access to the Google API. When this happens, your customers will see the following message:

Unable to perform Translation: Suspected Terms of Service Abuse. Please see

For example: if your website charges users, you can’t install a Google translation widget of any kind. Caching or storing translations? Against the API ToS. Is it being enforced? I am not sure, but Google blocks hundreds of websites a day from accessing its Google Translate API. Click here to see some examples.

When we started to develop our blog translation plugin last year, we avoided using Google Translate even though it is ‘free.’ Instead, we licensed our own machine translation technology at considerable cost. I think it was a smart move.

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