Google to penalise websites that copy content

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Copyright infringement is something close to the heart of most website owners. You spend hours on that perfect product shot, you carefully word your blog posts and item descriptions for maximum impact. You tweak your website to get the right keywords in your articles and then some toe-rag comes along and blatantly copies the lot without so much as a credit link in acknowledgement, let alone asking for permission to reuse your work.

Google is now going to start penalising websites that are accused of copyright infringement. Google say that they are now “taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results“.

Google revealed that they’re now getting more copyright removal notices every day than they did in the whole of 2009 – some 4.3million notices in the last 30 days. Google can’t determine who the legitimate copyright owner is so they also enable counter-notices for those who believe that their content was wrongly removed so that they can get it reinstated.

The solution is of course to ask if you want to use content belonging to someone else. “Fair use” enables you to quote from other sites, but always acknowledge quotes and don’t quote a substantial section of the article, just the part that you need to reference. Rewriting an entire article in your own words without acknowledgement is plagiarism, not fair use.

Sometimes you don’t have to specifically ask for permission to use someone’s work. An example of this is the image of the copyright symbol at the top of this post. Clicking it will take you to the copyright owner’s site where they explain that we (and you) are at liberty to use it free of charge without asking for permission. However you should always check that you’re allowed to use someone’s work before assuming that you can.

In the past less scrupulous websites may have gotten away with copying and republishing information as their own. In the future they could be demoted in search if they’re reported to Google. Unique content is the way forward.

Tamebay copyright and use of our content

It’s probably a good time to lay out Tamebay’s copyright stance.

Use of Tamebay’s Content

We’re always chuffed when someone thinks what we’ve written is worth a mention! You’re welcome to reference our articles with an acknowledgement in the form of a weblink back to them (and for print articles acknowledge pictures with “©Tamebay.com” and text with “Source: Tamebay.com”).

If you wish to display our images or photos on your website ask for permission and then rehost them. Please don’t make us pay for bandwidth to your site!

If you wish to reproduce a larger section of an article or a substantial portion simply ask for permission in advance – in many instances we’ll say yes. We might if asked even be able to supply an exclusive comment for you so that your content is unique and different to that elsewhere on the web.

Use of Tamebay’s RSS Feed

You are welcome to add Tamebay’s RSS feed as a news feed on your website. This will ensure there’s always fresh content on your website for your visitors to read. However you should not display the entire article and it should always link back to the original articles on Tamebay. The image to the side shows how this could look on your site.

Most blogging software (such as WordPress) and website codes have widgets to display RSS feeds. These widgets will automatically truncate articles for you to display, just the first 50 words or so and will include links back to the original articles.

If you wish to make use of any Tamebay material and aren’t sure if it’s ok to do so, then please do contact us.

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