Although Google seems to be venturing into new corners of the technology market nearly every day, the majority of its early success and value can be traced back to the proprietary computer algorithms at the heart of its flagship search engine. So the fact that the company is now tweaking its systems to lower the search rankings of suspected digital pirates speaks to the reverence the company has for copyright protection and enforcement.
In a brief bulletin posted to the company blog, Google senior vice president of engineering Amit Singhal recently outlined several impending updates that may change the user search experience.
"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," Singhal wrote. "This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily."
Singhal did not go into detail as to how the process will work, but he did note that Google cannot and will not be the one to determine whether a website displays infringing material or otherwise corrupts legitimate royalty management protocols. It will be up to copyright holders to point out potential transgressions, and Google will only act in accordance with content removal requests authorized in a court of law.
Google will also be providing a counterbalance against frivolous claims by including tools that allow website owners who believe that their content was wrongly removed to contest the decision and apply for reinstatement.