Google has updated its reporting systems and now allows users to ‘report for removal’ of counterfeit goods within the organic/free Google search results.
This process is quite similar to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) one where users can request the removal of copyright-infringing material from search results.
Google describes counterfeit goods as those that “contain a trademark or logo that is identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the trademark of another. They mimic the brand features of the product in an attempt to pass themselves off as a genuine product of the brand owner.”
Users can submit reports for removal of counterfeit goods by using the legal form where any logged reports will be reviewed and consequently the content is taken down – or not.
According to a Google spokesperson, the process is entirely manual at this time as well as non-algorithmic. However, over time, the company will utilise these submissions in order to develop ranking algorithms and systems aimed to help Google limit the visibility of websites found to consistently sell counterfeit products.
Why should you care? Well, for one, website owners selling legitimate goods will have one less thing to worry about. Additionally, this new option will also help level the playing field in organic search.