Google Updates Search Algorithms, Expands Knowledge Graph
Google's Knowledge Base expands to all English-speaking countries, and adds copyright claims to its search algorithms.In the quest to provide the best search engine possible, Google announced this week an upgrade to the company's search algorithms as well as the expansion of the Knowledge Graph, a database of more than 500 million real-world people, places and things with 3.5 billion attributes and connections among them. Starting next week, Google will begin taking into account a new signal in their rankings, adding to the list of more than 200 signals the search engine uses to deliver accurate results--the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. In a company blog post, Google's senior vice president of engineering, Amit Singhal, wrote that sites with high numbers of removal notices might appear lower in search results, and said the ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily. "Since we re-booted our copyright removals over two years ago, we've been given much more data by copyright owners about infringing content online," he wrote. "In fact, we're now receiving and processing more copyright removal notices every day than we did in all of 2009-more than 4.3 million URLs in the last 30 days alone. We will now be using this data as a signal in our search rankings."
Singhal also noted that Google cannot determine whether a particular Web page does or does not violate copyright law, as only copyright holders know if something is authorized, and only courts can decide if a copyright has been infringed. Therefore, Google will not remove any pages from the results of the search query unless they receive a valid copyright removal order from the affected party. "We'll continue to provide "counter-notice" tools so that those who believe their content has been wrongly removed can get it reinstated," he wrote. "We'll also continue to be transparent about copyright removals."