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Google’s Anti-Piracy Ban on URLs Affecting the Digital Marketing Industry

Google has published its transparency report and according to that, the search giant has been asked by anti-piracy firms to remove a large number of URLs in accusation of pirated content. Google has already removed 1 million domains and this is a new milestone for removal as stated in the report. Originally, it was asked to eliminate more than 2 billion individual URLs among which the search engine has ended up removing half of it. The interesting thing to note here is that, the request for removal is increasing day by day. The number of requests received by Google is significantly more than it was last year.

Anti-piracy firms are requesting to remove a dozen of URLs at a time. However, Google probes on the requests and acts only when copyright has been proven. For example, Google did not remove the request from an anti-piracy firm to delist 12 homepages containing the word “coffee” in their title. According to Google, these addresses had nothing to do with copyrighted work.

Legal and Illegal Websites Under the Scanner

The most incredible aspect of this entire phenomenon is that, Google receives requests to remove website addresses of not only illegal websites but also the legal, significant and popular ones. Websites like The White House, Netflix, New York Times, NASA and BBC are also under the scanner of the anti-piracy firms. Needless to mention, Google rejects such requests on a daily basis. However, the ones that are removed on request are much more than the ones that are kept intact. Google provides a clear record of the domains that have been removed and the non-eliminated ones within the report. For instance, it had received millions of removal request for the well-known Internet Movie Database website, which were never removed by the search giant. While on the other hand, an illegal website like Torrentz.com has received the same number of removal requests on which Google has taken the steps by eliminating addresses accordingly.

Negative Impact of the Requests

These requests have impacted search engine optimization in a negative way. There are certain words which are universal and using them cannot be considered as copyrighted work. Search engine optimization depends on keywords and if the keywords or key phrases are questioned upon accusation of copyright, it creates a massive problem for the SEO executive. Thankfully, Google probes on the requests before taking a step.

The Process Google Follows to Probe into Requests:

  1. Removal notice being sent from copyright owner

  2. Google investigates on the notice and removes the URL if it truly violates the original work

  3. Google notifies the affected site administrator through Google Search Console

  4. The administrator has the right to counter the notification

  5. Google reviews the counter notification before deciding whether it should be reinstated

  6. If the copyright owner is dissatisfied with the final decision, it can file a litigation.

Introducing Anti-Piracy Code

To simplify this process and to work quickly on the requests, Google along with other search engine organizations are drawing a contract to implement anti-piracy code in the search results. This code will work to remove the presence of copyrighted material in the links. The agreement following a discussion which was presided over by UK’s Intellectual Property Office should come into effect from 1st June, 2017. However, the entertainment industry is still not happy with Google’s efforts and they want it to do some more. Baroness Buscombe states that each party has agreed upon the key content of the code, though the detailing is yet to be done.

Introducing such a code has saved Google from the wrath of UK government which could have forced the search giant to introduce this had it not agreed on the agreement. The Baroness goes ahead saying that, “the search engines involved in this work have been very co-operative, making changes to their algorithms and processes, bu also working bilaterally with creative industry representatives to explore the options for new interventions, and how existing processes might be streamlined.” It is also anticipated that putting this particular contract into effect in UK will put lot of pressure on Google to follow the same in USA.

The good news among this chaos is that, it is going to benefit the digital marketing industry by eliminating the black hatters. Executives who follow white hat techniques and are creative in their job will overcome the challenges and the ones not suited to this field will take leave. This can be considered to be a purifying move by Google.



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