Google reveals new tweaks designed to fight piracy

Google has announced that it's making tweaks to its search engine to help combat piracy, as the search giant launches its new "How Google Fights Piracy" report.

The changes were revealed in a blog post by Katherine Oyama, Senior Copyright Policy Counsel at Google, and they include new ad formats which are designed to point folks to legitimate sources when they search for things like "download", "free" or "watch" alongside the names of big movies, music tracks or media in general.

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The post provided an example screen grab which showed a search for "watch star trek into darkness", which then returned ads at the top advertising Netflix, Amazon and Google Play (of course) as sources for watching the film.

A second tweak will be an addition to the panel on the right which pops up with info on a pop star or film you've searched for – with Google planning to add advert links to legitimate sources here, as well. To begin with, this will be US-only, but it's expected to expand from there, and likely the UK will be one of the first places to get it following the States.

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Finally, Google is also set to implement an "improved DMCA demotion signal" for search results – in other words, sites which have received a "large" number of Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices for infringement will be more rapidly bumped down the Google rankings. This measure is a worldwide one, expected to come into effect as of this week.

Also, these DMCA-peppered sites will be stripped from Google's autocomplete predictions, i.e. they won't appear in the list of most-searched terms that pops up when you're typing in a query.

Oyama noted that Google will "continue to invest in combating piracy across all our services".