Google announced it has introduced changes to its search engine that will push potentially pirated material to a lower position in search results. The search giant posted on its Inside Search blog that sites with high numbers of valid copyright removal notices may now appear lower in Google's search results, steering searchers towards legitimate, quality sources of content more easily:
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.
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.
Following the blog post, speculation arose on whether YouTube would be immune to this new search signal but Google responded that YouTube will not receive special treatment, while adding that they don't expect this change to demote results for popular user-generated content sites.