Google strengthens online copyright protections, adjusts search to punish poor reviews

"While there is much more work to be done, this announcement is an important acknowledgement that everyone involved in the online ecosystem has a shared responsibility to constructively address the online piracy problem that is devastating the creative industries," he added.

Google also announced it will tweak its search algorithm in response to a story from The New York Times about an online merchant who said negative customer reviews boosted his company in the search results and increased his business.

"In the last few days we developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience," said Google Fellow Amit Singhal. "The algorithm we incorporated into our search rankings represents an initial solution to this issue, and Google users are now getting a better experience as a result."