Last week, Fred von Lohmann, Senior Copyright Counsel at Google announced on the official Google blog an expansion to the Transparency Report of a new Copyright section within the Removal Request tab. Many of us here at Nina Hale HQ are huge music fans. In fact, some of the staff are artists and/or in bands, have worked at radio stations, or created band websites. So, it was nice to learn that Google provides a way for copyright owners to request removal of search results that link to material which may infringe on copyrights. Surprisingly (or not), Google has processed over 1.3 million requests for URL removals in the past month from a collected 2,478 Copyright Owners and Reporting Organizations. With transparency being a core value at Google (their words), hence the creation of a Transparency Report, the Copyright reports include listing the Copyright Owners and Reporting Organizations who submit request and the Targeted Domains. As you would guess, movie, music, software, and TV industries make up a majority of the requester’s. Of the top 40 (pun intended) requesters, 6 are music labels/organizations, accounting for over 17% of removal requests in the last month. And of the 1.3 million URL removal requests, there were over 24,000 domains targeted as shown in the Targeted Domains report, averaging 54 URLs per domain reported. Again, probably not surprising, but the majority of the targeted domains are file sharing or bit torrent websites. Why is this information important? I think it is a way to see how Google is handling copyright infringement and actually how large scale it is. Kudos to Google for making this information available! From an SEO perspective, at this point I have more questions about how the targeted domains are ranking. But, that’s for a different day and maybe a different post. To find out about how to request a copyright removal, see Google’s FAQ page.