Nick Brown 14 March 2019

SEO

How Can Copyright Infringement Affect Your SEO in 2019

Good SEO is one of the most important aspects of keeping your business afloat. If you don’t maintain good search engine rankings, your website will be buried under search results of websites that did. With SEO, there are a lot of factors to consider. One such factor was introduced this year in the form of additional copyright infringement rules.  These rules will affect how many websites operate and understanding them is the key to further improving your rankings. Here are some of the most important aspects.

1. What is copyright infringement?

Copyright laws exist to protect your intellectual property. You don’t want someone to take your idea and make money off of it without consulting you or giving you a part of the profit. The law says that everything that happens with your content has to be with your permission. When you copyright your content, you’re essentially safe from people trying to take it from you. When it comes to online content optimization, the waters can get a bit muddy. You don’t know when someone created the content and it’s hard to track down those same perpetrators.

With the new changes to search engines, it’s now more complicated than ever. Search engine crawlers have redefined how they see duplicate content. Not only that, but they’ve also changed how to recognize it from afar. Nowadays, if your website has several copies of the same content that you own, it’s still going to be considered duplicate content.

More importantly, websites don’t even have to be completely searched in order to show the results of copyright infringement. The AI used by Google can now skim through the reactions of users that visited the website to give them insight. If an overwhelming majority of users have noted duplicate content, the search engine crawler will act accordingly.

2. How does this negatively affect businesses?

You might be wondering why duplicate content is even an issue for search crawlers. Ultimately, they want to find relevant content for any kind of search query. Duplicate content on the same website seems to be a non-issue. If the same exact content is present on the website of the creators, it shouldn’t negatively affect their bottom line.

It’s not completely without reason, however. It might be a question of the quality of the website. If the search crawler detects two copies of the exact same content on a website, it might get confused. It’s not a question of whether the owner stole from themselves because that would be ridiculous. Instead, it might be pondering whether the website is featuring quality original content, or simply repeating the same thing over and over again. This could diminish the quality of the website in question. Instead of having duplicate pages, websites should aim to properly optimize one page and make other links redirect to it.

3. How do you fight actual copycats?

The new copyright changes exist primarily to prevent others from stealing your content and ideas. Every once in a while, you might stumble upon a website that used your content without permission. The consequences of this are twofold. Not only are they taking advantage of your original content, but search engine crawlers won’t be sure how to rank both of your websites. The algorithm might only see duplicates and bring down everyone’s rank. This can be detrimental to your SEO.

When this happens, it might be time to take matters into your own hands. You can try to report the offending website from stealing your content or patented idea. However, this might not always work. It’s recommended that you seek legal action if you have a case for patent infringement. Make sure you gather the necessary evidence and take them to court. Alternatively, you could contact the website and threaten them with legal action if they don’t stop featuring your ideas. It might save you some time and hassle.

4. How do you get rid of duplicate content?

It might seem like this change would only affect lazy and malicious businesses, but there are a lot of factors to consider. How can you tell what constitutes duplicate content? There are lots of reasons why you might have identical content on several different pages. Your content creators and distributors might have several ideas on how to apply the content on the same website. Ultimately, you’re going to need to put in a lot of effort to make sure search engines don’t see your site as a copycat of itself. It takes a while to filter through all that information.

It would be best to start with preventative measures. Make sure your content is only featured in one place and try to coordinate your team around that. Have a team dedicated to check if everything is up to standard. It might be handy to seek help from a blogger outreach service for help in checking your blog content. Filtering through everything might take some time, but It’s well worth it for the search engine rank. Create a comprehensive list of suspect pages that might need to be worked on and start from there.

Conclusion

The new changes to copyright infringement might not have a substantial effect on your business website, but it’s still something you should think about. It’s a change that will add a new level of vigilance for search engine crawlers. Unfortunately, this means you will have to follow suit. Have your team skim through search engine results to try and find copycats before crawlers consider you both duplicates. Follow some of these pointers and you will easily maintain your rank.

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