If you are in SEO, than you have heard the chatter over Google’s newest announcement, The Pirate Penalty. Anyone who has been around SEO for a while, half expects the masses to panic over Google Algorithm Updates. We start to worry about negative-SEO strategies, and we philosophy about the moral implications of Google changing something that effects so many people. I am not saying that I am above that trap, I am just saying it happens.
The truth is, the Pirate Penalty is not necessarily a bad thing, and I am not surprised that Google is doing this. Fist, we need stop for a second and realize that Google is a business. Yep, I said it, Google is not a charity. Google’s algorithm updates directly effete their revenue; and just like every other business in the world, they make decisions based on revenue. In the last few years, Google has made steps to become a power player in the content distribution industry. Take a look at
Google Music, Google Play, Google Books, and even Google TV. The reality is that Google needs to take a stand against content pirates if they want to partner with large music and film companies. SEOs do not need to freak out over this update. This update will effect sites, but its effect will effect a specific niche. Also keep in mind that Google’s penalties are manual actions taken against your site. Before Google takes a manual action against your site, they will notify you via Google Webmaster Tools. You NEED to make sure you are registered with GWMT, and not just for the sake of avoiding penalties. Google Webmaster Tools is a gold mine of keyword data that you should use to grow your search presence.
The Negative Effects Of The Pirate Update:
IMHO, this is the natural progression from Panda. Site owners still need to promote original high-quality content. The only real concern that I have with this update are sites that use memes, and pop-culture references to illustrate an idea. I have included youtube videos in many blog posts, as well as videos from TedTalks, and other popular video sites. I can not count the number of SEO articles about e-commerce that have referenced, or embedded a product video from Zappos!
In the future, you will need to be more careful when you reference, or embed media that you do not own. Before you embed a video on your site, send an email to the video owner. In addition to protecting yourself from a DMCA complaint, contenting the content’s owner will make it more likely that they will help promote your article after it gets published.
Pro Tip: If you are unable to find their email address listed next to the video, try using PeepMail. Peep mail is a free tool that will scrape a domain for hidden email addresses.
The Positive Effects Of The Pirate Update:
The good news is that this update is going to promote original content. Even if you want to embed a picture, or a video on your site an the owner decided not to let you. Big Deal. This is the internet, and there have been very little “wheel inventions” in the past few years (especially when it comes to content.) If the owner of a Meme tells you not to paste their artwork on your blog, go find something else instead, or make your own. This update will require us to put more work into our content, but its effects should remain limited.
One last benefit of this update. Now that Google is taking a public stand against pirated material, you are more likely to receive attribution for your work. Sometimes bloggers use proprietary images, infographics, videos, and photography without permission. I suggest you take advantage of those situations. You can kindly request attribution for your work in the form of a link. You might even mention Google’s public out-cry against pirated material and suggest that you would rather receive a link for your work, than have to report them to the DMCA. I’m just saying, I think they will link to you.
The Future Of Pirates:
Sites that will be effected should include websites that promote Un-Athorized movies, TV Shows, Music and possibly even song lyrics. Keep in mind that the sites will still exist, but you will not be able to find them through Google.
By: Bryant Jaqeuz: Bryant owns BrewSEO, a creative inbound marketing and web design company in Redding, Ca. He keeps himself busy by helping multi-million dollar companies grow their revenue. If you are interested in getting in touch with Bryant, you can reach out to him through twitter.
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