Google is taking bold new moves to help copyright holders protect their properties against unauthorized use online.

According to a recent article on titled, Google Kills 250,000 Search Links a Week, the search engine giant will be publicizing requests to remove pirated content for the first time ever. Previously the company only publicized take down requests submitted by government agencies.

The moves come as Google is under increased pressure from Federal regulators, and copyright holders, to crackdown on copyright violations. Company executives are anxious to show lawmakers that they’re doing everything they can to protect copyrights.They fear legislation like last year’s proposed SOPA bill, and the CISPA bill, which would make site operators responsible for policing themselves.

Under the current systems, which Google wants to keep, copyright holders must report suspected violations to the search engine company directly. According to CNN, around 97% of these requests are settled in favor of the copyright holder. (One example of a denied request came from a television network trying to squash negative reviews.)

Most reports are investigated automatically, though a few are handled by actual people. Automation is practically a necessity, given the volume of requests the company handles.

What else is Google up to lately? Maybe you’ve heard of the Penguin?

Lots of Infringement

Last month alone Google received around 1.2 million page take down requests from around 1,000 sources regarding 23,000 different websites. That’s more requests than they used to receive in a whole year. Despite the large number of requests, Google claims the average request is dealt with within 11 hours of submission.

Webmasters can expect to see more moves like this as corporations take more action to protect their properties. Television, movie and music recording companies have a tremendous amount of clout in Congress and have generally received whatever they want from the lawmaking body regarding copyright protection.

Google wants everyone involved to know they’re as interested in protecting copyrights as the big media companies. Fred von Lohmann, the company’s senior copyright counsel, says Google is only looking out for everyone’s best interests by publishing this information. “As policy makers look at potential copyright law changes, we want to make sure they have the benefit of actual data,” he said.

Showing off to corporate and political entities how much work you do on their behalf in hopes of keeping regulations unchanged is just a fringe benefit of that process.

Do you think that the current system for protecting copyrighted materials online is working? Let us know on our Search Engine Optimization Forum.



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