Did you know that Google has made another change to its Google algorithm this week? The previous Panda and Penguin updates were implemented to improve the content that is found by the search engines. This latest update determines which websites should be displayed on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) based on how many copyright removal notices a website has received. Websites with higher numbers of removal notices will appear lower in the search results.
What is a Copyright Removal Notice?
A copyright removal notice is a request received by Google to remove an item from the search results that allegedly violates copyright. The court decides whether a copyright infringement has taken place and then Google will remove the page from the search results. There are more and more copyright removal requests filed every day. In the past month there were 4,553,721 copyright removal requests. To see the list of copyright removal requests, you can go to http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/requests.
How Does the Google Algorithm Work?
This new Google algorithm uses the number of valid copyright removal notices a website receives to determine its rank in the SERPs. A website with a lot of infringements will appear lower in the search engine rankings. If a website does not have any infringements, then it will not be affected by this latest algorithm change.
What to Do If I Am Accused of a Copyright Infringement?
You may be a little concerned about this new Google algorithm because you are thinking that your competitors could use this tactic to gain an unfair advantage over you. Don’t worry! If you have been accused of a copyright infringement, you will be notified. You have a chance to file a “counter-notice” if you believe the filing is in error. The accuser then has to file a lawsuit in District Court in 14 days. If the accuser does not file in court, your your material is restored in the search engine rankings. You can file a lawsuit if this was a false claim and you can sue for damages.
This may seem scary, but you should not worry about this. As long as you are not stealing other people’s content and misrepresenting it as your own, you will not be affected by this latest Google algorithm update.