Google Changes – Copyright Material

Google has this week announced that it will be changing it algorithm that ranks sites in the listing to include a factor  covering copyright infringement. This will apply to any sites that have been reported through Googles own copyright removal requests, and sites that get reported will be moved lower down the search engine rankings.

Everyone should know that copying someone else’s work and trying to pass it of as your own is a bad thing to do. Yet there are still many people who feel they need to do this. We at Badges Patches have been affected by people who seem to think its OK to copy entire blog posts, or images to pass of as their own. We don’t like it as we put alot of time and effort into these.

In the past, we would email the offending party directly, and say ‘take it down immediately, or we will invoice you for it’. This would be OK if they are based in the same country as us, but for foreign websites, it starts getting a bit tricky. Our only way is to apply for a Google DMCA request, to get the offending page removed from the Google search results. This is ok, but what about persistent offenders who steal from lots of websites? Or who have big websites? there was no real effect placed on them, other than the removal of certain pages from the search engine results.

Until now……

What Google are proposing to do, is to take all these complaints it receives from the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), and use these as another factor in the rankings. So, if for example a website receives a high number of DMCA requests, ALL it pages will be pushed lower down the rankings.

Google likes to use words such as ‘Trust’, and feels that the sites that are copying data from elsewhere on the web, are not trustworthy enough for the web user to view.

Many people did feel that reporting such infringements was a waste of time as Google did nothing really about it. But with this change, its worth while reporting websites that infringe on your copyright now. Here are a few simple steps to find out if you have been copied, and how to report them:

  • Use a service such as Plagium to check your text, to see if its been copied. Services such as TinEye can check for images.
  • If you have been copied, and have a Google Webmasters account, you can complete the form here.
  • Google will email you throughout the process, and let you know whats happening.

Don’t be afraid of reporting offending content, it really is a simple process.

Some people may now be concerned that your competitors can report your website, to try and get you lower down in the rankings. Whilst they can report it, anyone who is reported has the option to be able to prove that any report was malicious, and Google will take no further action.

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