Two sleeping web giants that were trashing language translation industry with free machine translations and crappy full of trashy ads websites are almost simultaneously re-designed their web properties. What caused them to change the direction? Why the old business model to crapify web pages with ads beyond belief to make money isn’t working for them any more? To get answer for it, let’s look at their core business models. I will start with FreeTranslation.com
FreeTranslation.com. Even though its name implies free, this website makes money on paid professional translation services. The site was re-designed to attract web sales and re-route percentage of its traffic toward premium section of the website. This business model was pioneered by our company back in 2008, but didn’t find much traction as free users are not looking to pay anything, no matter how kindly you ask them! FreeTranslation.com has incorporated services of OneHourTranslation.com at the beginning and they paid them commissions on every sale they were generating from the site. This partnership has lasted about 12-15 months until the site has pivoted and dissolved on its own. Perhaps, FreeTranslation.com got too greedy and decided to retain all profits to itself, thanks to its subsidiary company SDL which does professional translation service; thus, making it perfectly capable of doing everything.
Babylon.com didn’t have any partnerships from the beginning. This Israeli based start-up was very aggressive on searching web affiliates and making them install banners to re-direct traffic to their website. I remember getting such “proposals” from random Babylon’s people back in 2010 almost every day. Their army of web affiliate managers was impressive. Babylon.com offered professional translation service too, and didn’t need any partners. However, their “free” traffic didn’t convert much, so they placed some many annoying banners on their sites that is was considered as one of the most awful websites on the web.
But things are changing. I guess both of these companies began to focus more solely on their business models and clear up the messages they’d like to portray. Sounds like a start into era of Web 2.0. About time.