Google launches algorithm to sink pirates’ search results


Google has announced a change to its search algorithm that will see sites accused of copyright infringement appear lower down its list of search results.

From 13 August, the number of valid copyright removal notices received by the search giant will be used as a signal when generating a list of results. Sites with a high number of take down' notices will receive a less favourable ranking.

Google says this change should make it easier for users to find legitimate and quality sources of audio-visual content.

Google cannot determine whether a particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law.

In a statement, Google noted it is only courts to decide if copyright has been infringed, so it will not remove pages from search results unless a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner is received.

"Google cannot determine whether a particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law," the firm said.

"We'll continue to provide counter-notice' tools so that those who believe their content has been wrongly removed can get it reinstated. We'll also continue to be transparent about copyright removals."

The algorithmic change comes two years after Google overhauled its copyright removals' system, which led to a huge increase in available data regarding infringement online.

Copyright infringement has been on the rise, with the firm saying it now receives more removal notices each day than it did in the whole of 2009.

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.