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I own a small video tube website, where users upload a specific kind of content. 1,000 videos have been uploaded so far.

This morning I received copyright claim asking me to remove or disable access to 5 videos uploaded on my site. I've disabled access to them, but the problem is still to deal with SEO. What is the best way to deal with such issue dealing with SEO?

Should I:

  1. Delete the link permanently? If the user clicks on the link from Google search engine, it will link to a 404.

  2. Keep the link and add a small message saying the video has been taken down by a copyright claim?

I've done (2) so far and added this meta:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

What is the best way to deal with this issue, while avoiding any penalty from Google? Should I keep the videos listed in the sitemap also?

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Neither option will get you a penalty. Google prefers 404's but your single page idea will help to identify to users why the link is broken. Either way it is your choice. Both are perfectly fine. If it were up to me, I would give the user some explanation.

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You mean that you are still appearing broken link on Google searches. And you want to completely remove those pages from Google searches then you must go to webmaster tool & get verified your website through webmaster. After that Go into the Google Index tab & then you will see the subtab of remove URL. You can submit the link to completely remove from the Google cache.

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Keeping links for content you do not have pollutes searches and should be punished. Ask yourself how many users looking for that content will prefer to visit your explanation that you removed it rather then find the actual content on another site?

Bringing visitors to your site and not delivering them what they want is not good SEO, most will not stay to look for other content they will bounce right away and remember that you wasted their time. The net result being that it devalues your other content.

So unless you have a direct alternative to offer, for SEO you should remove the links altogether.

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