As of today, sites that have been repeatedly hit with copyright takedown notices will be pushed down Google search rankings.

Under the new ranking system, Google search results will now take into account the number of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests a site has received, with those sites being pushed down the search rankings.

As a result, the move will affect users who frequently search for multimedia content such as music as some popular sites, which would normally rank very highly using Google's previous search algorithm, get demoted.

The move will be seen by many as an attempt by Google to build bridges to the music, film and gaming industries after recently launching Google Play - it's own rival to iTunes.

Chairman of The Record Industry Association of America, Cary Sherman, said today:

“ taking this common-sense step and treating copyright in a way that’s consistent with the search firm’s approach to other forms of activity on the Internet, Google has signaled a new willingness to value the rights of creators. That is good news indeed. And the online marketplace for the hundreds of licensed digital services embraced by the music business is better today than it was yesterday.”