Search Rank, Piracy, Anime’s Marketing Problem Part N

Google Search now consider DMCA takedowns in part of its rank algorithm. I want to know: how many people use Google Web Search for actual information, and not download links?

How many people use Google to search for download links anyways? When I did, pretty much one out of 4 or 3 links at best (first page) were legit, and rarely it’s the top link. Maybe one out of a handful of times. It’s very much a SEO game when we’re talking about obscure Japanese crap, the sites gets the better google ranks will bubble up, and often they have nothing to do with the search term I use. I guess I am just one data point, but I’m pretty much dissatisfied in the opposite case: when I google up a show, I don’t want to be shown half a dozen stream sites or scan sites that I’ll never click on because, well, I want to read up and research the show, not to pirate it.

This is kind of like, the ghettofying of the internet all over again. Wikipedia is great, but I don’t want to search specific sites if I can help it, and if Google supports that sort of cross-site search to begin with. It’s a totally different story when you google terms that are not some item in trade that you can’t just download.

I guess here’s the basic idea behind Google’s search. Basic in that, well, isn’t it ultimately about relevance? Regardless of the implementation, if the users don’t find what they are looking for, it defeats Google Search’s purpose. I believe by downranking download sites it is a win-win for Google, their whip-cracking masters in the media industry, and everyday Joe users like us.

I already whined about how anime industry in English-language realms have a marketing problem. Working with Google to get your links bumped up should be a priority, if anything, as a way to compete and provide a service that is currently filled by less-than-legit outlets. Funi submit DMCA notices for their stuff. I wish more poeple did; the internet is international and crap stream sites should only come up when people input the right key terms in their search queries.

In the case with social network type situations, there’s this. Yeah, why isn’t Youtube downranked (I guess it will be, however slightly; and probably not notably so if you do a video search), though I think they mean it in terms of DMCA takedown requests issued to Google Search, not Youtube or the website being ranked.

On the flip side, it’s generally something¬†unpleasant¬†when Google resorts to having DMCA takedowns as a metric. Not just the valid concerns in regards to the lack of transparency of the Google ranking process, but simply the DMCA takedown process is hardly foolproof and frequently causes false-positives. As anime fans, though, I feel this is one of those situations where if I look left, I see all this copyright infringing efforts, but if I look right I can’t even find a commercial or promo video or OP/ED of some show on Youtube, even for review/marketing purposes uploaded by the copyright owner. It’s really the same problem and the longer this problem is left to fester, the worse it’ll get for all of us.

7 Responses to “Search Rank, Piracy, Anime’s Marketing Problem Part N”

  • feal87

    The algorithm will likely do DMCARequests/totalpagesindexed in order to know how much will the website be penalized. That’s why Youtube won’t be affected. Youtube’s DMCA takedown requests (the one where the video get deleted) will be counted normally just like all the others. ;)

    Honestly speaking, I doubt this will change much the rankings. Its just one over hundreds of signals and the others are far more important…

  • dor

    I for the most part feel piracy = good. Despite being (…more like because of being) someone who spends outlandish amounts of money on anime imports.

    But I agree about search results. It’s impossible to find simple [i]information[/i] on, say, a manga, because 90% of the first 10 pages are scanslation links, particularly when searching in English. Thus I wind up hitting MAL/Wikipedia/other known sites before attempting a Google search.

    I would not mind seeing scanslations and unofficial streaming sites drop a bit. I’ll add “torrent” to “scanslation” or “download” to my search if that’s what I want.

    • omo

      Glad to see this, it’s exactly my stance about this situation. At this point I don’t really give a damn about pirated works. It’s more how these sites pollute search results more so than anything. Because it’s a great way to attract page hits and long page view times!

  • jpmeyer

    Oh yeah, me too. When I hear about some new manga for the first time, I’ve completely given up on googling for it since I just get the endless scan sites and just skip directly to Wikipedia/ANN/MAL.

  • Michael is Low on Hit Points

    If I’m looking for commentary on an anime I’ve just finished, I find it an absolute necessity to append “anime blog” to the search query. This is problematic in a lot of too obvious ways…

    • omo

      There is google blog search, which might help your specific sort of situation. The handful times I had to resort to google blog search I found it sort of useless though, so YMMV.

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