All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Google to push copyright infringing sites down search rankings

11 Aug 2012
google logo headquarters sign search engine seo

Google has announced an update to its search ranking systems in order to penalise sites that serve pirated content, in a move that should please copyright holders who have long called for this move.

The company said that it would be adding a number of criteria to its ranking process which will take into account the number of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests a site has received.

With the new system, sites which have in the past received a higher number of DMCA takedown requests will be placed lower in a user's Google search returns.

The company said that only valid takedown requests will be considered in the ranking.

"Since we re-booted our copyright removals over two years ago, we have been given much more data by copyright owners about infringing content online," Google senior vice president of engineering Amit Singhal said in a company blog post.

"In fact, we are now receiving and processing more copyright removal notices in one day than we did in all of 2009, more than 4.3 million URLs in the last 30 days alone."

The company noted that it will only penalise sites which have received valid takedown notices from rights holders and that Google itself will not be judging whether a site is infringing on copyrighted content.

"Only copyright holders know if something is authorised, and only courts can decide if a copyright has been infringed: Google cannot determine whether a particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law," Singhal noted.

"So while this new signal will influence the ranking of some search results, we won't be removing any pages from search results unless we receive a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner."

Google has often been asked to stop prominently displaying links to sites thought to offer pirated content, and the news it is overhauling its search results was welcomed by the creative industries.

The BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said it was a good first step in the ongoing battle against copyright infringement and that it would be assessing the impact of the change overtime.

"We have argued for some time that sites with a lot of illegal content should feature lower in search rankings, based on the notifications we send to Google," he said.

"We will look carefully at how much impact this change will have in practice, but we welcome the announcement from Google and will be pressing other search engines to follow suit."

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols
About

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Strategy
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

BYOD vs CYOD vs BYOC poll

Which approach is your firm taking to managing employees' mobile devices?
21%
13%
4%
21%
31%
10%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet powered by Android KitKat 4.4

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet video

We take a look at the lightweight, waterproof tablet

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv33

Data protection: the key challenges

Deduplication is a foundational technology for efficient backup and recovery

rdc2

iPad makes its mark in the enterprise

The iPad can become a supercharged unified communications endpoint, allowing users to enhance their productivity

Project Manager - Business Transformation - Taunton

Austin Fraser are searching for a Project Manager for...

Project Manager - Business Transformation - Taunton

Austin Fraser are searching for a Project Manager for...

Greenfield C++ Developer/ Engineer, London

Greenfield C++ Developer/Engineer, London Skills...

Software Development Engineer

Develop: Customise: Configure. Maximise your technical...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.