To read this content please select one of the options below:

Website removal from search engines due to copyright violation

Artur Strzelecki (Department of Informatics, University of Economics in Katowice, Katowice, Poland)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 19 October 2018

Issue publication date: 7 January 2019




The purpose of this paper is to clarify how many removal requests are made, how often, and who makes these requests, as well as which websites are reported to search engines so they can be removed from the search results.


Undertakes a deep analysis of more than 3.2bn removed pages from Google’s search results requested by reporting organizations from 2011 to 2018 and over 460m removed pages from Bing’s search results requested by reporting organizations from 2015 to 2017. The paper focuses on pages that belong to the .pl country coded top-level domain (ccTLD).


Although the number of requests to remove data from search results has been growing year on year, fewer URLs have been reported in recent years. Some of the requests are, however, unjustified and are rejected by teams representing the search engines. In terms of reporting copyright violations, one company in particular stands out (AudioLock.Net), accounting for 28.1 percent of all reports sent to Google (the top ten companies combined were responsible for 61.3 percent of the total number of reports).

Research limitations/implications

As not every request can be published, the study is based only what is publicly available. Also, the data assigned to Poland is only based on the ccTLD domain name (.pl); other domain extensions for Polish internet users were not considered.


This is first global analysis of data from transparency reports published by search engine companies as prior research has been based on specific notices.



The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive comments that greatly contributed to improving the final version of the paper.


Strzelecki, A. (2019), "Website removal from search engines due to copyright violation", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 71 No. 1, pp. 54-71.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles