Thanks to an update to Google's search algorithm, it's going to be a bit more difficult to find sites illegally offering copyrighted material using the search engine. 

The company announced today via its blog that starting next week, it will begin taking into account the number of "valid copyright removal notices" it receives for a website when determining its rank. 

"Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results," said Amit Singhal, Google SVP of Engineering. "This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify." 

Singhal also states that since Google revamped its "copyright removals" service, it's been receiving an unprecedented amount of removal notices: "more than 4.3 million URLs in the last 30 days alone," says Singhal. 

While this may sound like a war on sites like TorrentFreak, Google won't be removing any of the websites that are accused of distributing pirated material. 

[Google via PC Mag]