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How Google’s Pirate Penalty May Affect YOU


The word “copyright,” when applied to the internet, has always been a kind of slippery, nebulous concept. Lots of web superpowers have been built on shaky ground, as far as the law is concerned…

The most obvious example was Napster. But with the explosion in user submitted content and social sharing, the copyright infringement issues are murkier than ever. Think about it; if you had a pirated video right now, how many places could you go and post it? You could probably upload it to a dozen sites and disseminate it on a bajillion social networks in half an hour…

That’s why Google just unleashed an update designed to penalize those who aid and abet pirated content. Here’s what Google had to say about it:

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.

I noticed that they do specifically mention “valid copyright removal notices.” That should put you at ease that a competitor can’t just lodge a bunch of baseless complaints to lower your Google rank… but maybe it won’t.

You see, it depends heavily on whether or not you republish content. Republishing or excerpting articles has become a kind of trendy strategy for building content sites…

If you’ve built your site this way, this might be a good time to review all of your strategy. If anyone that you publish may have a quasi-legitimate beef with you, that could equate to negative SEO for your URL… no bueno.

Basically, Google wants to make sure that webmasters are acting in good faith and promptly investigating and removing content when they do receive copyright removal notices.

FYI, this movement is not limited to Google at all…

Recently, we published a Kindle book that included excerpts from some of our previous subscriber-only content. Even though we owned the copyright to it, a black hat site had posted the information for free. Amazon refused to publish the ebook until we filed a copyright removal notice and had the pirated content taken down…

That’s just an anecdote, but I think it shows how the copyright clampdown is affect content sites.

 


About Josh Loposer

Josh is the managing editor of Digital Marketer, as well an aspiring novelist. Find out more about what Josh is working on on Facebook, Google, or on his website.
View all posts by Josh Loposer ➞

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