Google To Penalize Copyright Infringers In Search

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Search engine giant Google has announced a change to how it treats certain types of sites in search results.

In a blog post the company announced that sites with a large number of copyright claims against them would be penalised:

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

The post also included an interesting statistic: In the past 30 days Google has processed over 4.3 million URL removal requests!

The Guardian suggests that this change in attitude with respect to copyright holders might assist Google’s business plans to license content from rights holders.

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12 Responses to Google To Penalize Copyright Infringers In Search

  1. David Quaid August 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    This is a great move. And a u-turn. But u-turns are good!

    Google did itself little favours pretending it couldn’t provide some policing on the web – especially when it created the foundation for much of the IP crimes that happen, like Copyright infringement but then cry fowl themselves. They have slightly alienated writers, journalists and PR people while also then empowering bloggers and then letting them down when their content gets “syndicated” etc.

    • Michele August 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm #


      The problem is that this could be abused. We’re already seeing companies trying to make IP claims against our clients for “unauthorised links”.


  2. David Quaid August 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    HI Michele,

    Yes it is – number one reason why they don’t want to police it!

    • Michele August 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      So do you think that this change will be beneficial even if it is abused?
      Or how do you see abuse being handled?


      • David Quaid August 13, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        Hi Michele,

        Indirectly, yes. But I don’t think Google’s attempt at a ‘self-correcting system’ will work. You can’t be the prosecution, police and judge.

        I think that the change will highlight the problem at hand – how do you establish copyright ownership on the web – how do you certify/protect first publisher rights and that it could lead to a new industry.

  3. Andrew Grice August 14, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Google become the internets judge and jury. It harks back to the NSI days of DN adminstration without an open process.

    This is very dangerous and might be likened to digital colonialism


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