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Google Thwacking Piracy Sites With New Algorithm Changes

Posted by: , 21:51 AEDT, Sat October 18, 2014

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Google taking new actions against "piracy sites", with new demotions as well as new ads that highlight legal options
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Image/Photo Credit: runJMrun @ Flickr, CC

Google has revealed that a new algorithm change will more effectively demote sites that have received numerous take-down notices.

Google released a whitepaper this week outlining the firm's commitment to fighting piracy online, and specifically mentioned an algorithm tweak earlier in October that more effectively demoted sites that have received a "large number" of DMCA takedown notices.

The search engine company also changed the piracy filters on its auto-complete and related search features to further remove terms "closely associated with piracy". The company has also introduced new ads promoting legitimate options whenever search terms containing piracy related keywords are used - ads that link to Google's own Play service, as well to rival services.

Despite these changes, and the large number of DMCA takedown notices that Google now processes daily (with action take usually within 6 hours of receiving the notice), Google says that the best way to deal with the piracy lies not with search engines, but content providers.

"Piracy often arises when consumer demand goes unmet by legitimate supply,” the company says in the report. “As services ranging from Netflix to Spotify to iTunes have demonstrated, the best way to combat piracy is with better and more convenient legitimate services. The right combination of price, convenience and inventory will do far more to reduce piracy than enforcement can," Google states in the whitepaper.

The MPAA and RIAA cautiously welcomed Google's renewed focus on piracy, but wanted more time to examine the actual results from these changes before commenting further.


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