Global Reach/Announcements/Bahasa Indonesia Search Pilot FAQ
Google and Wikimedia pilot project for Bahasa Indonesia search users
What is the project?
The Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Indonesia have accepted Google’s invitation to collaborate on a pilot that changes the way Google presents machine translated content in search results for Bahasa Indonesia language users. As of February 1st, 2019, there are 36.5 million pages in English Wikipedia, and only 1.9 million pages in Bahasa Indonesia Wikipedia. Expanding access and availability of local language content is critical to the Wikimedia mission. In cases where local language content does not yet exist, we see this pilot as an impactful, interim method to extend knowledge and information access.
Current Functionality of Google Search
Currently, when someone uses Google search in a language other than English, Google will often surface an English Wikipedia article in the search results with a preview in English and an option to translate the article.
You can see an example of this in the screenshot here:
The New Pilot Feature
In this pilot, when someone searches for a topic in Bahasa Indonesia, and there is no existing Wikipedia article in that language with information about that topic, Google will provide a machine-translated version of the English Wikipedia article in the search results in Bahasa Indonesia. The result will include a message stating that the search result is a machine translation and will also give the option to read the original article in English Wikipedia. When there is a quality article in Bahasa Indonesia Wikipedia, Google’s ranking algorithm will favor the native language article over the machine translated version. This new functionality does not alter anything on the Wikipedia website and only applies to searches for content conducted on Google.
You can see a screenshot of this new functionality here:
How to access a Wikipedia translated page?
There are three ways to access a Wikipedia translated page:
- Google Search Results. Google search results clearly labeled as translations that will take the user directly to a translated page. You can see an example of this in the screenshot here:
- Translate Action on Search Results. When search results only exist in a different language, Google shows an option to translate from Google Bahasa Indonesia where the second result shows the English Wikipedia result with the translate option ("Terjemahkan halaman ini"). Note at the bottom-left corner of the image how the destination URL is coming from Google Translate. You can see a screenshot of this new functionality here:
- Google Translate. Users can go to Google Translate and paste any URL in order to access a translated version of the page.
How to contribute articles from translated Wikipedia?
Wikipedia users can contribute to Bahasa Indonesia Wikipedia by creating a new article or expanding the automatic translation page from their smartphone or desktop computer. The workflow for editing Wikipedia from a smartphone is slightly different than a desktop, especially for the articles that do not exist in Bahasa Indonesia Wikipedia. When contributing a new article via smartphone, the user needs to create a new article from scratch.
You can see a screenshot of workflow for the smartphone contribution channel here:
With regard to articles which not exist in Bahasa Indonesia, users are advised to contribute via desktop. The desktop contribution funnel offers two different contribution options; starting from scratch or from the translation result. In contrast with desktop contribution funnel, contributing through mobile funnel only offers an option to start article from scratch with no option to start from the translation result.
You can see a screenshot of the workflow for the desktop contribution below:
For articles that already exist in Bahasa Indonesia, the contribution workflow would be the same for smartphone and desktop. Users will be redirected to the existing Bahasa Indonesia Wikipedia page when they chose to improve the translated content by expanding the selected article.
Please see this document for more information about the editing workflow.
Who will experience this change?
Currently, the change will only be surfaced to a limited number of topics in Google search results, mostly on mobile, by providing users the translated articles from Google Translate. The Wikimedia Indonesia community and the Wikimedia Foundation staff will maintain communication with Google to share any feedback as the project continues.
How do the users measure the impact?
"External Guidance" activity is captured in the analytics report as well as recent changes on Wikipedia to give an overall picture of how much content is read and created from externally translated pages. These are the aspects measured:
- Reading to contribution funnel. How many people are accessing translated pages, how many of them decide to contribute, and how many of those complete their contribution?
- Content creation. How many edits and pages were published as a result of people coming from an externally translated page.
- Content survival. How many contributions have been reverted or not, which gives an idea of the quality of those contributions.
These measurements can be compared to the same activity of regular wiki pages.
How did the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Indonesia work with Google on this pilot?
Google came to the Foundation for feedback about their project. They have been in conversation with the Indonesia chapter, the Wikimedia Foundation Partnerships team, and the Wikimedia Foundation Audiences department. We worked with them to adapt how Wikipedia was attributed to the new functionality of the search results feature. We will continue to speak with them, share feedback on the pilot, and explore ways we can grow and expand the availability of content in Bahasa Indonesia Wikipedia.
If you have questions about this pilot, please ask them on the Talk page. Thank you!