Google Removes 1.5 Million URLs in a Week, Up from 1.2 in a Month in May

The number of takedown requests Google sees is growing exponentially

Google's move to provide more transparency into the DMCA takedown requests it receives was seen as a good move. Google is obligated by law to comply with the requests it deems valid. But that doesn't mean it can't reveal all those requests to the world.

At the very least, Google's report showed the scale of the problem and the growing number of requests it receives.

But it seems that too much transparency isn't always a good thing, as Google pointed out that providing this service generated a huge increase in the number of requests it receives.

Indeed, since May, when Google made the data public, requests have gone through the roof and the number is growing each week.

As TorrentFreak points out, the week ending August 13, the latest for which Google provides data, set the record for most requests by a huge margin. In that week alone, Google got 1,496,220 requests, that's 1.5 million URLs that the search engine was asked to remove.

And it removed most of them since, even though Google does sometimes challenge these requests, you can imagine that it can't possibly review 1.5 million URLs in one week and thoroughly examine them to determine whether the requests are valid.

Google got 156,708 requests in the week ending August 15, 2011. In one year, requests grew 10 times and there doesn't seem to be any stopping it. The first time the site got more than one million requests was the week of July 23.

In fact, three months ago when Google revealed the project, it was getting 1.2 million requests per month. Even that was a huge increase over the previous year. In just three months it went from 1.2 million per month to 1.5 million per week.

For the last four weeks, Google got 5,733,402 requests. It's quite obvious that the figure will blow past 6 million for August, a 500 percent increase in three months.

Even better, Google started penalizing sites that have a significant number of valid takedown requests. Since it made the announcement and the change went live, the number of requests grew dramatically.

It's not that hard to imagine that people will abuse the system, massively, and Google simply can't throw boundless resources at dealing with these requests which, in the end, aren't even about its site or content, even third-party content, hosted by it.

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