Google DMCA – Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Occasionally you will find that your quality, original content is stolen by other website owners and used on their own site and passed off as their own copy, especially if you check for this using Copyscape or an equivalent. This has happened (and is happening) with Misterweb.co.uk and it has happened to some of my clients. Google attempts to identify the original author of duplicated content and then give them the credit for the work and potentially demote the copyright offender. However, they do get this wrong and sites with the original content have been demoted by the Google panda update, i.e. there are innocent casualties of Google’s attempt to improve search results. The webmaster forums, seo forums and business owner forums are full of complaints, frustration and anger at the fact their sites which may have ranked well for years are now flailing in obscurity. You cannot stop copyright infringement so you have to act upon it. You can use a service like Copyscape to check for copies of your websites content across the entire web. With a premium account you can check your entire site and get a listing of all the infringements for each page. Hopefully, you will have nothing listed or just a short list. You can read more about DMCA and the services we provide here
I say hopefully as the next step is time consuming. If you have copy which has been plagiarised you can start by contacting the website owners and explaining what they have done, demanding they remove the content or else you will file a DMCA takedown action with their hosting provider which could forcibly remove their website from the web. I have had very little success with this route when contacting Indian and Chinese SEO websites about the pages they have stolen from my site to use on their own, only replacing the word Misterweb with ‘lazy Chinese SEO firm’.
So, you can deal with copyright infringement in these more direct two ways, you can file a DMCA notice against them. You can go to their hosting company who will look into the details and if they agree with your complaint they will remove the website or offending pages from the web.
The alternative is to go to Google and file a DMCA complaint through them. If successful they will remove the offending content from their index and you will have secured your status as original author! Googles form for this is here: DMCA complaint form. I have used Googles DMCA tool with great success, in my experience they have taken 3 to 4 days to deal with the notice. They then send a personal reply to you confirming their action. The Google DMCA form allows you to submit multiple infringements in one go, it’s really very helpful and I recommend it.
I expect DMCA services to be a rapidly growing industry given the importance of originality for ranking.