In an effort to curb online piracy, Google will be rolling out an update to its search engine this week that will "visibly affect" the rankings of some of the most "notorious" sites, the company announced in a blog post.
These changes are in addition to the tweaks the search giant made a couple of years ago -- back in August 2012, Google announced that it would downrank sites for which the company received a large number of valid DMCA notices.
Google said the company has also been testing new ad formats in search results on queries related to music and movies that help people find legitimate sources of media. When users search for such content using queries that include terms like “download”, “free”, or “watch”, Google's search results will prominently display direct links to legitimate sources of music and movies like Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and more.
The company is also testing a right-hand panel in search results for the same kind of listing.
Although these tests are currently only being run in the US, the company says an international roll out is on the cards.
Finally, the search giant says that it is removing more terms from autocomplete, based on DMCA removal notices, and has also begun demoting autocomplete predictions that return results with many DMCA demoted sites.
Google received around 224 million DMCA requests regarding its search results last year, of which it positively entertained 222 million, while the rest were rejected because the company either needed additional information, was unable to find the page, or concluded that the material was not infringing. The average turnaround for copyright notices was less than 6 hours.