Google’s Search Algorithm Will Now Penalize Sites That Commit Copyright Infringement

August 14, 2012

Another day, another SEO game changer thanks to our good friends in Mountain View.

Google’s search team announced that the search giant has launched a new search algorithm update that will penalize websites that have committed copyright infringement.

For over a year, the SEO industry has been adapting to Google’s Panda Update, which puts a huge premium on unique, quality content. Thanks to Panda, any site that features duplicated content has been severely penalized by Google and seen a huge drop in rankings, traffic and online business. As you probably know, Google’s changing it algorithm so that it’s search engine gives top rankings to website that truly deserve it– quality and original content, strong technical structure, user-friendly design, social integration, and lots of relevant links that illustrate the site’s popularity among its peers– while also penalizing sites that game the system with thin content, spammy site structure and black hat tactics.

There’s nothing more black hat than copyright infringement. This algorithm update is just the latest in a long series of changes that Google is making to ensure that its search engine is rewarding the good sites.

Copyright Removal Notice

Google will only penalize copyright violators after it receives a copyright removal notice is from copyright owners request violators’ site links be removed from Google’s search engine results. However, getting a site successfully removed from the results is not easy. Only the law determines if any copyright law has been broken. Google may be the gatekeeper of the Internet, but it is not the judge and jury, too.

If a webmaster can show the legal proof that an offending site has committed copyright infringement, then Google may approve the request and remove the violator’s links from the search results. But rest assured that Google will not remove any links without clear legal proof, or else it will be leaving itself vulnerable to legal action.

As SEO has matured, so has the tactic of trying to get copyright violators removed from the search results. In 2012, Google has received more copyright removal notices every day than it did in all of 2009 (the year they revamped their copyright removal process).

Marketing Takeaway

We hope you aren’t stealing other people’s intellectual property, and we really hope you aren’t getting sued over it. Moreover, we don’t think Google’s algorithm update is going to be the ultimate deterrent if you are stealing other people’s work.

That being said, it’s important to know what Google’ search team is working on and where it’s placing its priorities. Namely, rewarding sites that have genuine, original content and penalizing those who have nothing to say.

So commit yourself to generate quality content in the form of blog posts, webinars, presentations, videos, podcasts and much more.

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