Stealing copyrighted content has been an ongoing issue since the beginning of Internet time. However unlike most Internet issues, this is one battle that seems to get grow further and further away from a solution. Despite Google’s many attempts to make sure that content is not duplicated across the web, this August, 2012 turned up nearly 6 million URL search removal requests from Internet users.
What Is a Google Removal Request?
For those who are unfamiliar, a removal request is something that Internet users can submit if they want a page removed from a Google SERP immediately. A removal request can be used if you want to remove content from your own site; however it is most often used when you want to remove content that comes from another site. For example, you may want to remove a page immediately if it holds confidential information such as a credit card number. Copyright holders are also amongst those who take full advantage of Google’s removal request system because more and more websites are offering copyrighted content for the public to read and download.
There are also a few instances where you should not utilize a removal request: If you want to clean up your site and delete pages, remove crawl errors from your Webmaster Tools account, help your site if it’s been hacked, or just start over.
The Removal Request Numbers Google Saw
The month of August came with nearly 6 million removal requests, which is a huge leap in the numbers from last year. According to Search Engine Watch, “requests submitted to the search giant peaked at 1.49 million the week of August 13, compared to 156,708 in the same time period in 2011.” The article went on to say that other weeks in August had significantly different numbers, including a jump last week from 91,985 in 2011 to 1.42 million in 2012.
Google received thousands of requests from major corporations such as Microsoft (681,227 requests) and NBCUniversal (254,527 requests). So what does this mean for Internet marketers? The real answer lies in whether or not Google will listen to all of these requests.
What This Means to Online Marketers
This spike in requests is significant because it proves that copyrighted or confidential information is being used improperly. This means that online marketers need to be on high alert about when their company is mentioned online. You can do this by setting up virus tool such as McAfee and Copyscape, and even creating a Google Alert for your company name to screen for any potential duplicated content.
Whether or not Google is listening and taking action on all 6 million requests is still unknown; however Google did fulfill 97 percent of the requests that were filed last year between July and December.
You can visit the Google Webmaster Tools to submit a removal request to Google.
Are you surprised by the huge jump in numbers from last year to this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo Credit: housingwire.com
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized as a Top SEO Company that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.