Google has taken a step towards fighting piracy by stepping up and introducing measures to penalize sites which have been cited with valid copyright removal notices. New search algorithms will take into account if a website has been charged with breaking copyright laws and will consequently drop their search rankings. The move in intended to make it easier for users to find legal sources of content.
The Google search engine is pretty much the starting point for anything done on the web and dropping down search rankings is a serious ramification. According to Google, they received over 4.3 million removal requests in the last 30 days or so. This data will be put to use in the new algorithms. In a bid to ensure transparency, the data can be found online and there is a counter notice tool available for those who feel they have been wrongly accused.
While obviously affecting the rating scores of torrent sites, it remains to be seen how sites that rely on user generated content will be affected. Google's own YouTube is plagued with pirated content and removal notices. Would the positive factors outweigh the new negative points YouTube will accrue under the new search?