By attorney Michael P. Ehline. In our last Google Video Hangout, we discussed Jim Loxley’s article on using the DMCA to get rid of bad links. Sort of a link disavow tool of sorts. But there is more that has come to light since then, with respect to Google and the DMCA.
Google has been a little quieter than normal in the latest announcement of its latest update, in a way that was not so obvious with respect to the new addition to Google’s search quality signals. The new factor is the DMCA takedown requests we spoke about last Friday. As discussed here at Koalaweb, Google will lower site rankings for takedown notices. But I wanted to correct the article by Eddy Montes. The new udpate makes clear that it will only effect sites found to have been reported with a notice that is “valid.” This means that they [Google] will be lowering the ranking of sites with many “valid” DMCA takedown requests in the search results (read the new algo notice here.)
It is Called the Emanuel Update
The update is named the “Emanuel Update”, and is a way for Google to allegedly show Hollywood how they are attempting to change the illegal content sites on the search results. This update will only be impacting the top violators and not the sites with just a few takedown requests. The algorithm has yet to show how effective it will be in affecting only the sites with many DMCA takedown requests and not affecting the sites that get just a few. Others speculate that this is just another tool in Google’s efforts at creating an environment of fear, uncertainty and doubt, which should lead to an exodus from organic SEO, into a keyword bid system, called “pay per click”.
What Google Said:
The search engine company said, they will begin taking into account the new signal in rankings, the number of “valid” copyright removal notices that are received for any site. The sites that have a high amount of removal notices will appear lower in the search results. The ranking change should help users find sites that are legitimate, with quality sources of content easier, whether they are song previewed on NPR’s music website, new music streamed from Spotify or television shows on Hulu.
Google Didn’t Say It Would Provide and Mechanism for You To Even Know If Your Site Had Valid Complaints
Google owns both Youtube and Blogger and both of these receive large amounts of DMCA requests. We wonder if Google will lower its own rankings? At least Google knows if a complaint was made against it…right? After all, there is no way to know if you had someone complain against you, other than to sue Google and DOES 1-100 to try and conduct discovery. Many wonder why not? After all, how hard would it be to provide a website, forum, or WM tools notification to make the info available?
Webmasters and SEO people are concerned when Google comes out with a new algorithm, and there is good reason for concern, as has been seen in the past. With this update most webmasters will not see anything, and most likely it won’t affect more than 1,000 site on the internet. It might lead to a new SEO service for reporting DMCA takedowns, if there was any way to even know you were reported, that is.
Webmasters are Frightened About DMCA Negative SEO and Rightly So
No one really knows what the tipping balance is from a clean, to a dirty link profile. It is all secret. The notification process, or lack thereof is not in any way transparent.
Recently Someone Was Accused of Using a Bogus DMCA Takedown To Get Bad User Reviews Removed
So it is easy to see how someone could really clobber a site like Yelp, for example. Just claim that the review is plagiarized content, make it believable, get a Google Team member to buy it, and kablammo, the bad review gets de indexed, and the sending site also gets a penalty! Can you believe it? If not, read this! Can you think of ways you could pretend like the content on your competitor’s site was really yours, beat your competitor to the reporting punch and blast his SERPS into cyberspace? Think like an attorney. There you go, that was easy enough. See my point?
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