Google has ramped up the fight against online piracy by putting more teeth into how it addresses copyright issues and violations. Content stealing and scraping (including images and video) is all too common on the web, up to now the main tool Google offered was the ability to file a DMCA takedown request. A DMCA takedown request, if deemed valid had the potential of removing the offending web page from Google’s index, but did not impact the rest of the site. That has now changed.
Hollywood has long criticized (and sued) Google for not doing enough to protect original content from being stolen and copied. Hollywood in particular hates YouTube. Of course, in this author’s humble opinion, Hollywood doesn’t help its case by clinging to the old dated notion that one needs to have cable to get the latest shows. Perhaps if it made more content legitimately available on the web; via Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, the piracy problem would get better. This cartoon from the Oatmeal sums it up perfectly. I too would love to watch the Game of Thrones series and I’m willing to pay a one time cost for it, but I am definitely not willing to resubscribe to premium cable just for the privilege. I was also rather appalled at the amount of ads (on every page refresh!) NBC made you sit through after paying to stream the Olympics online.
That being said, copyright violations is a real problem for bloggers as I have blogged about previously. I’ve also written an article on how to use images in your blog without violating copyright.
Now DMCA takedowns will have more impact, on August 10, 2012 Google announced on its blog that “valid copyright removal notices” will become a new signal for its rankings. What does this mean? As is typical for Google, the announcement is vague on the details, but if your website receives “enough” (the number is undetermined) DMCA notices from Google, the entire site will start rank lower in Google’s search results pages. So no longer is just one page affected, your entire site can be impacted by the notices. The idea, of course, is that the worst offenders will no longer rank as well as the original content.
Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.