Google has refined its search engine to direct users to legitimate sites as part of its efforts to curb online piracy, BBC News reported.
It has added measures that will push down sites with illegal content in the search results while allowing legal sites to be on top.
The move was apparently in response to criticism, particularly from the entertainment industry, that its search engine was enabling people to find sites to download music or video illegally.
Google’s new measures will point users to legal alternatives such as Spotify and Google Play, the report said.
It will list these legal services in a box at the top of the search results, as well as in a box on the right-hand side of the page.
However, as the company considers these as adverts, legitimate sites that want to appear there will have to pay Google for the placement.
The music trade group BPI, which represents the British recorded music industry, said it is “broadly” pleased with Google’s changes, but it doesn’t believe the legal sites should have to pay.
“There should be no cost when it comes to serving consumers with results for legal services,” a spokesman told the BBC.
“Instead we have urged Google to use the machine-readable data on the Music Matters website, which lists all services licensed in the UK, and to promote these legal services above illegal sites and results in their search, using appropriate weighting applied fairly and equally across services.”
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