Google Signal Updates – DMCA Takedown Notices Now a Signal Towards Search Engine Rankings

In order to combat against software, music and movie piracy, Google are introducing a new signal to its search algorithm that takes into consideration the amount of DMCA or copyright infringement notices that they receive with regards to a particular search result, and in the case of penalisation: an entire website will be penalised under the new algorithm. However, Google has reassured website owners that popular websites that by their nature may receive a large portion of DMCA takedown notices will not so easily be penalised because Google takes other factors into account, which Google has refused to disclose – likely for security and competitive reasons.

What about Google’s own YouTube service? Will that be penalised?

Google has stated that YouTube is treat like any other website under the new signal, although as previously stated, Google’s algorithm takes into consideration many factors prior to penalising a website under the new signal – so popular websites that, perhaps, have user-generated content won’t as easily be penalised as one would assume under the new signal – and we’re sure Google’s engineers are smart enough to make sure the new signal works flawlessly before they started implementing the signal. Google had announced on one of its blogs that starting 13 August 2012, the new signal will start being taken into account by Google’s algorithm.

We aim to provide a great experience for our users and have developed over 200 signals to ensure our search algorithms deliver the best possible results. 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.
Google’s ‘Inside Search’ blog post announcing the new signal

Will my website be penalised if someone makes a DMCA takedown request regarding my website’s search result(s)?

This new signal does not remove any listings from Google’s search results, websites are simply penalised under the new signal – Google will only remove search results in receipt of a DMCA takedown notice, and even then, you can send a counter-notice to Google allowing you to appeal Google’s decision to comply with  DMCA takedown notice handed by a copyright holder or an organisation legally acting on behalf of the copyright holder.

The new signal, which Search Engine Land has unofficially called the update the “Emanuel Update” (pointing reference to Ari Emanuel, a Hollywood magnate), is simply a new algorithm to ensure high-quality websites are awarded better listings than that of websites that appear to be systematically infringing on the copyrights of others – especially websites that make copyrighted material available to download for free – such as software, music and movies – which are a large source of DMCA takedown notices handed to Google.

Google Signal Updates – DMCA Takedown Notices Now a Signal Towards Search Engine Rankings
Written by: AFRIDA YANTI
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