Any piece of text you put on the web automatically becomes available for the readers. Traditional web readers used to be you, me and all the people around us; but it is not the case anymore.
Now you have to expect that your pages are read by other "creatures" which are looking for your thoughts and products.
We are not talking about aliens here, but about new type of "eyes" scanning your site. The fact that your site is findable on the web means that something came to your site and brought it to the surface; this is no new information, everyone now knows what a "search engine" does. But what is news is the fact that there is a very fast growing monster invading the web and it is being unfortunately ignored completely: Online Machine Translation Systems!
So, you have at least three types of readers visiting your sites and you should take them very seriously:
Until when will we continue to ignore them?
OK, many will argue that much has been done in the field of "writing for the web", which means that content writers should consider the specificity of the web when they write; from the ease of the language to the visual presentation. And others will pretend that they are doing a great job in building well structured and clean pages, so search engines would have no difficulties crawling and indexing them.
But who is doing what to facilitate the task of Machine Translation Systems? In fact, among the freely offered services on the Internet, Machine Translation can be the "only" application that all readers have used at least once; this is a statement! We all tried the various machine translation software offered here and there, and we have always cursed the result! We always blame Machine Translation of being bad, inaccurate and misleading; and after each experience we tag it as "hopeless".
Machine Translation will be soon the "savior" of multilingual communication. The combination of Automatic Translation and human-made Translation Memories can lead to the perfection of Machine Translation.
Back to our readers. Let's put it this way: taking care of the third type of visitors (MT) will guarantee the satisfaction of the other two. If we think of the millions of people who are trying to read what we write using online machine translation everyone will be very happy. People prefer short and clear sentences; they hate awkward and complex paragraphs. Google likes structured and clean pages. Machine Translation loves well structured and clean pages with short and clear paragraphs. Think of the requirements of MT when you write your content and everyone will be happy.