Has someone filed a large number of DMCA “takedown” requests against your site? If so, look out. That’s the latest penalty that may cause you to rank lower in Google’s search results. It joins other penalties such as “Panda” and “Penguin.” We’re dubbing it the “Emanuel Update” in honor of Hollywood mogul Ari Emanuel, who helped prompt it.
Hollywood Hates Google
Google has had no lack of criticism from the entertainment industry over the past few years, criticism that’s also caused some content owners to hold back on doing deals with the company.
One of the most recent flare-ups came at the D Conference earlier this year, when Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor, groused that Google could filter out pirated content if it really wanted to. He said:
I don’t want them to censor results, but they have a bunch of smart guys there that can figure this stuff out….
Look, Google can filter and does filter for child pornography. They do that already. So stealing is a bad thing, and child pornography is a bad thing.
It’s well worth watching the video of his discussing this, which starts around 47 minutes in here. Google later responded saying things weren’t so easy. Said Google, as coveredin AllThingsD:
“I think he was misinformed, very misinformed,” Google’s Susan Wojcicki responded today onstage. “We do not want to be building a business based on piracy.” As compared to child porn, which people can generally recognize on sight, Wojcicki said, “When I see content, I don’t know if you own the copyright.”
But as it turns out, there is a way that Google can guestimate if there’s copyright infringement happening, by making use of Digital Millennium Copyright Act “takedown” requests.
These requests are one of the ways to get content removed from Google. Anyone can file a request. It’s not proof of copyright infringement. It’s merely an allegation, and one that can be challenged. But Google evaluates each request, and if deemed valid, content is removed.