Google has started to turn their search engine into its own personal piracy filter; if your site is flagged multiple times in a month for copyright violation, your site will be moved down in rankings immediately.
“We will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site,” Google said in the blog post. “Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results.”
Many users and analysts are saying this measure is the most “significant antipiracy measure Google has ever enforced.” For years, Google has been working with those who are upset about copyright violations and have given into many of their demands to protect their work from infringement. One of the most popular requests was to have websites that were verified copyright violators removed from search results completely.
Google has refused this request for months now, but has now found a middle ground with their new enforcement. Since many websites that pirate content are directed to by other websites that index illegitimate sources of movies and other media, bumping their rankings down because they are violating copyright will reduce the effectiveness and rankings of the indexes as well.[blockquote] This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily — whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify. [more blockquote]Since we re-booted our copyright removals over two years ago, we’ve been given much more data by copyright owners about infringing content online. In fact, we’re now receiving and processing more copyright removal notices every day than we did in all of 2009–more than 4.3 million URLs in the last 30 days alone. We will now be using this data as a signal in our search rankings.
Copyright owners and supporters of legitimate media acquisition were very quick to shower Google in positive commentary. Public Knowledge senior staff member John Bergmayer went as far as to say that “it makes good business sense for Google to take extraordinary steps, far beyond what the law requires to help media companies it partners with.”