Are Google Search Console DMCA Takedown Notifications Broken?

Mar 2, 2021 - 7:21 am 2 by

Google Priate

Last week, Max Prin from Merkle, notified me that one of his awesome free tools on was removed over a false DMCA takedown request. There are a couple of issues here (1) the DMCA takedown was false and successfully removed his free tool from Google Search and (2) he was not notified of the removal until much later.

Here is when Max Prin found out:

It was a fraudulent claim that some companies are using to remove sites from Google's search results:

John Mueller of Google replied on Twitter saying there isn't much he can personally do because this is a legal issue. DMCA goes through legal and he cannot handle legal issues. He said "There's often not a lot we can do when it comes to legal issues like these. You're welcome to work to change the legal foundation for these processes though... (I'm not the one you have to convince, and Twitter is likely not the best medium for legal discussions, YMMV.)"

But on the second point, Max should have been notified of the takedown sooner. John added "You should be getting search console notifications for DMCA complaints. If that's not happening, that would be a bug afaik. Maybe it's just a timing issue? I can double-check on our side though."

Max did not receive the email that his page was removed until Friday night:

Danny Sullivan from Google told Max to file a counterclaim, which he did. Danny wrote "Filing a counter-claim is the right things. When DMCA removals happen, my understanding is sites do indeed get notified. That said, there's enough weirdness here that I'm also passing it on for further review."

Then sometime on Saturday the site returned to Google. Max didn't know it returned either, he did not receive any notification that it returned.

Scary to think it can be that easy to remove a site or page and potentially cause that much damage.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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