YouTube have recently had to remove many music videos due to a issue regarding payments with Performing Rights Society. The result is that some videos have now been removed for UK viewers.
For example this video from Adele – Chasing Payment is now removed.
Interestingly this page is still hanging on in a Google Search for a search for “adele – chasing payments”
That page returns a 303 response, which is is similar to a 302 (more details here) in that the page as moved elsewhere but the difference its not permanent or a temporary change, it just does say.
This means the page will remain in the search engine rankings which is happening, the page was cached on the 16th.
This is a great move by YouTube as they are holding onto the positions in the search engine rankings and keeping levels of traffic until a deal with the Performing Rights Society is sorted out. Once the deal is sorted out the page will return a normal 200 ok like other YouTube video pages.
I’m not sure if the 303 response is the correct status to give to the search engine? Anyone know?