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Google Algorithm Update: Search Engine to Penalize Sites Accused of Copyright Infringement

dmca requests impact serps

dmca requests impact serps

In a recent announcement, Google stated that they plan to begin penalizing websites that receive a high number of valid copyright removal notices. On Friday morning, Amit Singhal, who is a Google Fellow and the Senior VP of Engineering, posted the following regarding the algorithm update:

“Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify.”

Singhal also indicated that Google is now receiving over 4.3 million copyright infringement complaints per month, which is more than the search engine received in all of 2009. Since Google is heavily investing in video and music content production and dissemination services, it is not surprising that the search engine has decided to begin penalizing sites that may be stealing content.

The movie and music industry seem to be supportive of the move. “We are optimistic that Google’s actions will help steer consumers to the myriad of legitimate ways for them to access movies and TV shows online, and away from the rogue cyberlockers, peer-to-peer sites and other outlaw enterprises,” said Michael O’Leary, a senior executive with MPAA.

While on the surface the new penalty appears to protect the reasonable interests of copyright holders and has the support of many content producers, the algorithm shift could easily cause penalties against innocent sites. For example, sites that allow users to upload content could easily be penalized for the actions of users that are acting outside of the site’s terms of use.

Do you think that the new algorithm change will increase the relevancy of search results and properly apply penalties or do you believe that Google is implementing the change to protect their new financial interest in content?

Sources Include: Wall Street Journal, Inside Search Blog, & Search Engine Land
Image Credit: Google Transparency Report

Category SEO
David Angotti

After successfully founding and exiting an educational startup in 2009, I began helping companies with business development, search engine marketing ...

Google Algorithm Update: Search Engine to Penalize Sites Accused of Copyright Infringement

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