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DMCA Copyright Takedown Notices New Signal in Google Search Engine Rankings

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  • DMCA Copyright Takedown Notices New Signal in Google Search Engine Rankings

    In order to counteract the problem of many search engine results having links to copyrighted material and to have a measure against piracy, Google is now taking into consideration DMCA / copyright removal requests as a signal towards search engine rankings; and websites that receive a lot of DMCA / copyright removal requests will likely find their search engine rankings artificially lower than usual, because of the new signal Google has implemented in its complex search ranking algorithm.

    However, before anyone becomes worried this is a case of "guilty under proven innocent", Google had stated on August 12 that there are many factors that are taken into account by Google's algorithm as well as the obvious factor, before Google's algorithm determines that a website should be penalised. And yes, an entire website will be penalised with this new system - not just individual pages.

    This, alongside Google's "DMCA takedown" system where search results may be taken down in receipt of a valid DMCA takedown notice by a copyright holder, is to better combat Google's search results making it too easy for people to find copyrighted material to download, such as commercial software, music and movies. Although talking about Google, it's just as easy to find copyrighted material to download illegally through the Bing search engine - so whether companies start pressing Microsoft to bring a better solution in place for their search engine remains to be seen.

    Will this affect popular websites that, by their nature, may receive a large proportion of takedown notices?

    As said above, Google's algorithm takes into consideration some other factors prior to penalising a website which will mean websites like Dailymotion, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, IMDB and others will not be as easily penalised as you would think. Google has unsurprisingly refused to comment about what these other factors are that their algorithm takes into account, but it's without doubt Google is making sure that this new function works flawlessly.

  • #2
    Hmm...I guess this is fair enough. If websites are faciliating or storing copyrighted material and they refuse to remove it, I guess they should be penalised for it. I think it's a necessary signal that Google should have implemented some time ago. I just hope that their algorithm take other factors into account, such as the content being removed later on, etc.