Google announced in August 2012 that it was changing its search algorithm so that websites with a high number of valid copyright takedown notices might appear lower down in Google's search results. The new algorithm will also take account of notices filed through Google's search engine reporting system and YouTube's infringement reporting system.
Google stated that it now has more data from copyright owners on infringing online content, noting that it is currently processing more copyright removal notices per day than it did in the whole of 2009. Google is therefore starting to use this data as one of a number of signals in its search rankings.
Google has confirmed that it is treating YouTube like any other site in search rankings and not giving it any sort of preferential treatment. Despite YouTube often being the recipient of copyright infringement allegations, Google does not envisage that the change will demote results for YouTube or other popular user-generated content sites.
The move follows prolonged lobbying by copyright owners, in particular those in the movie and music industries for Google to take more proactive steps in the fight against online piracy.