Is Google scanning and removing Saved user links?
For some time now, Google users have had the option to save links as collections using Google Saved. The feature, which is not linked to the Bookmarks feature, can be compared to Microsoft Edge's Collections feature or sites such as Pinterest.
Signed-in Google users may check their collections and saved items on the Web. There, they also have options to manage items and collections, and to add new links to a collection. Most Google users come into contact with Saved when they use the Google application on Android. A Saved tab is displayed prominently in the app.
Items may also be saved from Google applications, including Google Maps. If Google Maps is used to save places, all of these places and collections appear in Saved.
A report on Torrentfreak suggests that Google has started to remove items from user collections. According to the provided information, Google appears to remove saved items if they have been blocked by Google Search.
The most common cause for the blocking of items in Google Search is a DCMA takedown notice. Google removes URLs from its search engine when it receives these takedown notices. Common examples include URLs that point to filesharing sites and specific items, e.g., a movie, music album or game, that is available for sharing on the resource.
Torrentfreak received an email from a Google user who had one of their items removed from a collection saved earlier. The site then replicated the issue and discovered that items blocked on Google Search could not be added to collections anymore.
Attempts to replicate this behavior using a standard Google account were not successful, however. I was able to add several URLs to a saved collection, using the web service, and Google did not prevent the adding to a collection and did not remove the item afterwards. While that may still happen, results are ambiguous right now.
One possible explanation for this could be that Google is removing links only in certain regions. Not all DCMA takedown requests ask for global takedowns, and there is also the question of local laws that may protect user data.
In any event, Google users may want to save links elsewhere as well for backup purposes. This can be the bookmarks of the used web browser, or, better, using a solution that is not linked to an online account.
Google users who want to check out their saved items or test, whether Google is letting them add items that are blocked in Google Search, may open the https://www.google.com/save?authuser=0 webpage to find out about that.
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