Tips for Writing a DMCA Complaint to Google
There have been reports that, following the recent Google Panda update, your original content may get outranked by scrapers in Google search results. Bryan Crow did some homework and published several instances illustrating how his own articles were pushed down on Google by scraper sites that use his site’s content but without permission or credit.
So how do you deal with a scraper site and prevent them from republishing your content? You either contact the owners directly requesting them to remove your content and if that doesn’t work, you submit a DMCA complaint to Google to get the scraper site out of search results.
Google provides a simple online form that you may use to report copyright violations in web search and all it requires is the following information:
1. The URLs of your web pages that host the original content. 2. The corresponding URLs on the scraper site that mirror your content.
I recently submitted a DMCA to Google against a site that had republished every single article of Digital Inspiration to their own. Google sent me auto-generated mail saying they are looking at the complaint:
Thank you for using our online AdSense DMCA complaint form. We have received your complaint and have queued it for review. Once our investigation of your complaint is complete, we will send you an email confirmation.
Google meanwhile contacted the other party who then promptly deleted all the articles that I had mentioned in the original DMCA also also submitted a counter notification (this is just another online form). I then got another message from the Google DMCA team:
We have received the DMCA counter notification in response to the complaint you filed with us.. We are providing you with the counter notification and await your notice (in not more than 10 days) that you have filed an action seeking a court order to restrain the counter-notifier’s allegedly infringing activity.
Google now requires a court order for them to take any further action against that site. That’s how it works – one can submit a counter DMCA notice after removing all the infringing content mentioned in the DMCA and be safe. The complainant will have to move the court for any further action.
In other words, if a site xyz.com has republished 100 articles, your DMCA complaint should mention all the 100 URLs that are hosting copyrighted content.
This can be time-consuming task but Google Webmaster Tools may help you find that information provided your feed is linking back to the source. Here’s how:
Replace www.labnol.org in the above URL with your own site domain and you’ll get a list other sites that are linking to you. Click the domain name in this list that is republishing your content and there you’ve the data you are looking for. Download this list as an Excel CVS sheet and copy-paste it to your DMCA complaint.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.
Amit has developed several popular Google add-ons including Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory