Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) as a Ranking Signal

It’s August 10, 2012 and another update to Google’s algorithm has been announced! According to the official Google Search blog, websites in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) may find their organic rankings suffering as a result. Once again, Google is citing user experience.

“We aim to provide a great experience for our users and have developed over 200 signals to ensure our search algorithms deliver the best possible results. 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.”

That’s right, websites with valid content removal requests are going to drop in Google’s organic rankings. The goal? To connect searchers with relevant and authoritative original content. Google already gets messages from copyright owners asking them to remove certain websites from their organic search results, and it appears that such requests are on the rise.

Of course, this new update opens up all sorts of opportunities for people to aggressively copyright material and/or wrongly accuse other websites of infringing on their copyright. You can see the reporting organizations as well as the domains they are reporting. It’s going to be interesting how things evolve, but one thing is for sure… in the war to create great content, you better make sure the content you’re creating is yours!

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