It could soon become easier to find legitimate online film and music services – and harder to find pirated content – after Google announced a number of new changes to its search engine.

The tech giant has published the latest edition of the How Google Fights Piracy report, which has laid out a raft of measures to promote the use of legal services including Spotify and Netflix.

One of those measures is the introduction of new advertising formats, which are now being tested and include a dedicated results section listing legal services based on specific search terms.

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The right hand panel of the Google results page is also set to point to legal sources, but these new search results are only available in the US at this stage. Global expansion is planned, however.

In addition to these refinements, Google has announced that "some of the most notorious sites" to have received Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) notices will become less visible.

More after the break

This is because Google has updated the signal that "downranks" sites with such notices, and it is expected that this update will start rolling out around the world as early as this week.

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BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: "When fans search for music or films, they should get legal results – it’s as simple as that.  

"We will monitor the results carefully, but we are encouraged that Google has recognised the need to take further action and will continue to work with the search engines and government to build a stronger digital music sector."

To read the How Google Fights Piracy report, click here (.pdf).

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