Google is rolling out an update to its search engine next week that will downrank websites containing pirated content.
The new, improved algorithm pushes copyright violators lower in search results. “We’ve now refined the signal in ways we expect to visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites,” Google says in its latest transparency report.
The update will also affect search autofill behavior to prevent sites with pirated content from appearing in results. Furthermore, “legitimate” media sites like Netflix, Amazon, and Google Play will be prioritized to the top of Google’s results page when users search for a particular movie, TV show, or song.
Google said its plan to combat pirated material is more proactive than reactive, focused on driving users to legitimate content rather than eliminating material that violates copyright laws. Google will continue to respond to the hundreds of millions of takedown requests it receives each year, however.
Says 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 service.”