Moz Back In Google Search After Fraudulent DMCA Takedown

May 5, 2022 - 7:31 am 0 by

Google Mistake Moz

Yesterday afternoon Moz's home page was removed from the Google Search results after Google processed a fraudulent (or mistaken) DMCA takedown request. Moz is now back, within 12 hours from when Google learned about the issue - but there is no response from Google on how this could have happened as of yet.

To be fair, I forgot to email Google last night but I did email this morning and I will let you know if I hear back.

So what happened? As I covered last night at Search Engine Land, a search for [moz] did not show Moz's home page in the search results, it showed the Moz blog first:

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Where did the Moz home page go? Well, it was excluded by an approved DMCA request for supposedly distributing "modified, cracked and unauthorized versions” of the Dr. Driving app," the DMCA takedown request wrote. was included on line 122 of the list of 185 URLs allegedly doing this.

If you went to the footer of the Google Search results for the query on Moz, it had these details and links:

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Cyrus was the first to spot this last night and shortly after, Danny Sullivan from Google responded that he passed it along:

As of this morning, at around 3am ET, Moz returned to the Google search results:

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Yea - this is scary. How can a DMCA takedown request actually lead to the removal of a reputable company's home page from Google Search? What would happen if this happened to a smaller brand that does not notice their home page being removed for days or weeks? Would Google be able to respond as fast to smaller company's who have this issue? I just want to know what went wrong here and how Google can prevent it in the future. This has been a concern for well over a decade and it came true for Moz.

Of course, sites go missing from Google here and there. Search Engine Land was thought, mistakenly, to be hacked and was removed for a period of time. It happened to Digg when it was penalized by accident. It happens to others as well... Sometimes it is the site's own fault, like with LinkedIn and I get that but when it is Google's fault?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Statement from Google. May 5th at 6:50pm ET a Google spokesperson sent us the following statement:

Our DMCA removals process aims to strike a balance between making it easy and efficient for rightsholders to report infringing content while also protecting open access to information. If we find that pages have been removed from our results in error, we reinstate them, which we did in this case. Our transparency efforts are designed to help third parties identify these types of issues, and when they come to light, we take action. We’re looking at ways we can improve our systems and processes to prevent these types of errors in the future.


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