The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. The company has announced a change to its search rankings, intended to protect copyright.
Last week, Google announced that it's making a change — or more accurately perhaps, a modification — to its search algorithm. This is the explanation, from Google's search blog:
Starting next week, 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. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results....
Only copyright holders know if something is authorized, and only courts can decide if a copyright has been infringed; Google cannot determine whether a particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law. So while this new signal will influence the ranking of some search results, we won’t be removing any pages from search results unless we receive a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner.