Should I file DMCA with Google or ask webmaster of copied content to remove article?


Did you find your articles are copied by other sites? Are you confused whether to file DMCA complaint to Google and ask Google to remove the article from the index or should you contact the webmaster and ask to remove the copied content? Read this article to find my take on it.

Reproducing content has been a (bad) practice adopted by many people on the web to enrich their websites with quality content. It is easier to copy content from quality sites and reproduce in the site rather than taking the time and effort to write a quality article!

Reproduced content has always been a challenge for all search engines. From time to time, all search engines like Google came up with various algorithm updates to deal with copied content. I am particularly impressed with Google in the way it figures out which is original content and which is reproduced content. Once Google figure out the original content, it would show the original content higher up in the search results and ignore the copied content.

Whether Google recognize your original article or not, you should get the copy cats remove their content from their websites. I did the big mistake of ignoring the copy cats and allowed them to enjoy because it never affected me. Google always respected my domain authority and ranked my original content very high and ignored all copy cats. That made me think that I could continue to ignore all copy cats.

Everything changed with our domain name change and a Panda update in April 2012. We moved our website to a new domain name. Google rolled out many Panda updates during the same time. On 7 April 2012, Google marked our site as a 'copy cat' site and started ignoring us in all search results. I was dis heartened to see that all copy cats rank high in the search results, way above my original content. This was a good lesson for me.

File DMCA complaints and get copied articles removed from Google index


In last few days, I filed hundreds of DMCA complaints and got most of the copied articles removed from Google index. However, those articles still remain in the copied websites and are available for human readers and other search engines. I was able to get hundreds of copied pages of other sites and blogs removed from Google index, hoping that will bring back my search engine ranking. I am checking my Google search engine ranking everyday and waiting to see my ranking back. Read how to check search engine ranking of your web pages or blog.

While I was filing DMCA complaints with Google in a hurry, I ignored to ask the copied sites webmaster to remove the content from the site itself. I failed to note down all the sites that I found to be copied from my site. Even though I could go back and check status of DMCA complaints at Google DMCA dashboard, it would have been much easier if I had sent a DMCA notice directly to the webmaster asking them to take down the copied content. Also, many of my DMCA complaints where reported directly at Blogger.com and there is no way to go back and see a report of it. The only option to find all reported URLs is to go through email confirmations you received from Blogger.com.

Impact of getting copied articles removed from Google index but not from the infringing websites


I can see few potential problems if the infringing content is removed only from Google index and not from the infringing locations:

1. Once the copied page is removed from Google index, it is hard to locate the infringing pages again, unless you use other less reliable search engines or you manually track those URLs. So, it will be hard for you to go back and deal with the infringing content again.

2. When you get the copied articles removed from Google, the content still remain in those websites and are visible for human readers. Some readers who happen to see the same article in your website also may think your website has copied it from the other site and could affect your reputation.

3. The reproduced articles are still available for indexing to other search engines like Bing.com. Even thought the traffic from those search engines can be low, it could still have a long term effect. Why lose some traffic even if it is minimal?

4. When the number of reproduced articles grow in size, Google and other search engines may start thinking that you are the copy cat and not the other sites. It has happened to me and could happen to you as well.

Considering various potential problems in future, it is always advisable to contact the webmaster or owner of the infringing site and ask them to take down the content. Just send a DMCA notice directly and most webmasters would recognize it. Even if they don't respond and remove the content, you could keep that notice for records in case you need to prove which is original content.

File DMCA with Google, Bing and also send a notice directly to webmaster asking to remove the copied content

If you file a DMCA notice with Google and get the copied content removed from Google index, there are higher chances that the site owner would respect your DMCA notice and remove the content from the site itself. Once the content is removed from Google index, the copied site is not going to get much traffic from Google and possibly earn some penalty for their entire site. So, if the content is already removed from Google index, there are higher chances that the site owner will respond to your DMCA notice.


Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

Follow Tony John or read 646 articles authored by Tony John

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