Plagiarism is not just something that mattered in school. Now, violating someone else’s copyright online can have serious repercussions on your law firm’s search engine ranking. Search engines like Google have taken the initiative to try preventing copyright violations by seriously penalizing websites that step on someone else’s copyrighted material. The extent to which Google is willing to go, however, is shocking.
Google Penalizes Websites that Violate Copyrights
Google makes use of several automated programs that scour the internet, looking for specific signs that a website is one of poor repute. However, the program that it uses to detect copyright violations, Google Pirate, is passive – it requires the owner of a copyright to fill out a takedown form to notify Google that their copyright is being violated by a particular website. If the takedown form is properly filled out and accurate, then Google metes out the harshest penalty in its disposal – complete removal of the offending website from the search results.
1.75bn URLs Removed for Copyright Infringement
The number of copyright infringement claims that Google Pirate has received is staggering. According to Google’s own Transparency Report, nearly 900,000 websites have been impacted by a copyright infringement claim, with over 1.75 billion unique URLs being removed Google’s search results.
This high number is in large part because of the ex parte process that Google Pirate uses to take down allegedly infringing websites. If the takedown request that Google receives from the copyright owner is properly filled out, Google removes the offending URL from its search listings without reaching out to the URL’s owner for an explanation. Only after removing the URL does Google notify the owner of the site that it’s been taken down, and only then can the owner try to overturn the removal.
Unfortunately, this relaxed process is easy for competitors to take advantage of, allowing them to attack your website by claiming it hosts copyrighted images or content worthy of removal from the search listings.
Professional Legal Bloggers Avoid This Danger
One of the biggest dangers of investing in your website is stumbling onto a Google penalty that tanks the ranking you worked so hard to build. Having professional legal bloggers, like those at Myers Freelance, working on your website is the best way to ensure this doesn’t happen. We stay on top of the rapidly developing world of search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure your website does not get penalized. Avoiding copyright infringements – something not so easily done on the internet where images and content are so freely disseminated and claimed as one’s own – is something that we do on a daily basis. Contact us today to start blogging on your law firm’s website.