Rights holders have asked Google to remove six billion links to pirated search results over the past decade. The vast majority of these requests have been honored, reports TorrentFreak. Although it is impossible to completely eradicate copyright infringement, Google is slowly but surely positioning itself as a voluntary partner in the fight against piracy.
Google’s position as the leader in search also imposes responsibility. This is an issue that rights holders have been working on for a long time. And slowly but surely, Google adjusted its policies to discourage pirate sites.
The most direct way to deal with piracy for a search engine is to respond to DMCA notices. If copyright holders find pirated sites in search results, they can ask Google to remove those links from their indexes.
Over the past decade, rights holders have asked the company to remove six billion links to allegedly infringing content. Most of these requests were actually deleted or pre-emptively blacklisted.
Six billion links were reported by 326,575 rights holders who identified 4,041,845 individual domain names. These domains also include many false positives, including the White House, FBI, Disney, Netflix, New York Times websites.
Overall, it can be said that a relatively small number of rights holders are responsible for a disproportionately large number of takedown requests. The ten most active senders reported nearly 2.5 billion URLs, more than 40% of the total.
Also, as we mentioned earlier, most of the removed URLs belong to a small group of websites. A total of 400 domains are responsible for 41% of all links removed by Google in recent years.
Google continues to remove more than a million URLs per day, but this trend started to change a few years ago. The frequency with which messages about new links appeared began to decrease. At the same time, Google began to cooperate more with rights holders.
For example, Google began to accept messages about the removal of links that have not yet been indexed by the search engine. These links, which also number six billion, are entered into a preventive block list. This makes it impossible to add links to search results in the future.
Google also actively demotes pirate sites in search results when it receives an unusually high number of requests to remove a domain. In addition, the search engine has decided to voluntarily comply with third-party orders to block sites by removing entire domain names from its index.
These proactive anti-piracy measures have begun to improve the relationship between Google and its rights holders. And it will not be a surprise if this trend continues in the future.
While six billion deleted links in ten years is a lot, it pales in comparison to the takedown activity on another Google resource, YouTube.
Last year, YouTube released its content takedown data for the first time at the request of copyright holders, revealing that its Content ID system processed nearly 1.5 billion takedown requests in a single year.