DMCA Takedown Notices Can Change Your Google PageRank
Some startling news from Google: the amount of DMCA Takedown Notices your company received can change your Google PageRank….for the worse. Google does not often disclose what makes their algorithm tick, but in this instance they have been pretty open with the fact that if your website receives a number of DMCA Takedown Notices (which are directed at Google), your rank on Google may suffer.
In a blog posting today, Google announced this change.
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.
Since we re-booted our copyright removals over two years ago, we’ve been given much more data by copyright owners about infringing content online. In fact, we’re now receiving and processing more copyright removal notices every day than we did in all of 2009—more than 4.3 million URLs in the last 30 days alone. We will now be using this data as a signal in our search rankings.
Google did also say they will not be removing websites – merely punishing them. Google actually keeps and publishes information on the websites for which they receive valid DMCA Takedown Notices. You can see the list (for the United States) here. Much like the rest of Google’s algorithm, the process by which it will do this is unclear. What is the number of complaints Google will use as a threshold before “punishing” a website? How long will the “punishment” last? What recourse do website have who think they are being unfairly targeted?
I could certainly see a scenario where rights holders seek to punish “competitors” if this proves to be a useful tool.
If you have questions about this, please feel free to contact us.