Google, which has been blamed by Copyright holders for not taking serious action against notorious piracy sites that often rank above legal and commercial sites, says it will change its search algorithm to make search results more copyright-friendly and the changes will roll out next week.
According to a blog post written by Google’s senior copyright counsel Katherine Oyama, Google had promised back in August 2012 that it would lower the rank of the sites for which it received a large number of valid DMCA notices. But at the time, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America, and others were not satisfied with the algorithm’s impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy. Oyama also reported that Google has now changed its algorithm that would visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites.
The announcement of the change in algorithm came as Google unveiled its latest “How Google fights Piracy” report to show that it is trying to help fight online piracy. The company announced last week that Google-owned YouTube paid out $1 billion to copyright holders in a program that allows them to monetize unauthorized use of their copyrighted content uploaded to the video-sharing site.
Oyama said that Google was trying to direct its users to more legitimate sites and the copyright holders’ content will rank high in search results and that the search made up only a small portion of pirate traffic. Google has been testing new ad formats that display links to legal digital music and video services when users search using terms download, free and watch; and deleting keywords from its auto-complete feature if they return results with many DMCA demoted sites.
Google claims to have received 224 DMCA requests in 2013, and apparently each request takes about six hours to process. With the change in search algorithm, hopefully it becomes difficult for users to hunt for pirated content, thus making it more efficient.