InformationWeek: If your website has been accused of copyright infringement, it could soon have a much lower search ranking. On Friday, Google's Amit Singhal blogged, "Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results." Sites with a lot of user generated content, like Google's own YouTube, will be exempt. Google is also offering a mechanism for sites to protest if they believe they have been accused unfairly.
The move has sparked criticism from observers who say that Google is putting itself in a law enforcement role.