Google’s Pirate Filter Leads to 89% SEO Traffic Drop on Average on Some Sites


The Pirate filter, aimed at giving less visibility in the SERPs to sites that have been the subject of numerous DMCA complaints, reduces the SEO traffic sent to offending sites by 89%, if we are to believe the search engine…

In early February, Google submitted a document to the US Copyright Office stating: when a site is downgraded (by the Pirate update), the traffic Google Search sends to it drops, on average, by 89% “.

Remember that the Pirate update (sometimes also called DMCA update), which dates from 2012, aims to remove sites that have ” received a large number of valid takedown notices,” as required by the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and in general to undermine illegal download sites from search engine results pages. In short, the “web looters” who illegally offer content that is legitimately available elsewhere.

This specific update has been updated several times thereafter, for example in 2014 and 2015 and therefore continues to fight against this scourge which of course uses Google as the main launching pad for its activities.

In the document provided to the American authorities, Google indicates that it has also set up a signal alerting it when a site affected by this update is redirected to a new address, thus thinking of escaping the filter.

Some statistics on Google’s removal of content from results for copyright infringement. Source: Google

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