The Emanuel Update and Your SEO

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There’s big news for the SEO community very recently with the so-called Emanuel update in Google’s algorithm, also being referred to as the “Pirate” update”. This update is gaining much attention among webmasters and SEOs and for very good reason: its one of the first highly-publicized update of its kind in recent history. Now, you might be asking how the Emanuel update may be different from the Google Panda or Penguin updates. Here’s how it works, and how the Emanuel update could affect your SEO, perhaps quite profoundly:

There are a number of factors that determine whether a site becomes the target of Google Penguin or Google Panda, and now that list includes a DMCA takedown request. A DMCA takedown request is a complaint that one files with an Internet service provider to notify it that one of its users is in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). DMCA requests can also be filed with Google and other search engines against content that has unfairly garnered good search rankings.

If you have stolen content, then the owner of the content has the right to file a takedown request with Google. Sites that have many valid copyright removal notices, Google says in this , will now be penalized in the search results. The DMCA request is not proof of piracy, but it is an allegation that Google will consider (especially if several website owners file requests against your website). This SEO update is now colloquially called the “Emanuel update” in honor of William Morris Endeavor co-founder Ari Emanuel, who addressed the need for better content filtering in search results at this year’s D Conference.

Who will get hit by the Emanuel update? Those domains with the most DMCA requests against them. Will YouTube be affected by the Emanuel update? This isn’t much of a cause for worry; DMCA requests for products other than Google Search, such as requests directed at YouTube or Blogger, are not included and while anyone can file a DMCA request with YouTube if they believe you stole their content, the Emanuel update will most likely not affect your search rankings.

If you hired an SEO company that placed pirated content on your site, take it down immediately. Even if your content has been pirated to other sites, it can also be a good idea to re-write your content, to better avoid any issues with this update. The time and money you invested in search marketing could all go to waste in the blink of an eye if that content is crawled. Take the Emanuel update seriously to prevent your site from being affected.


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