Google has come in for criticism in the past for not doing enough to curb the actions of online pharmacies selling counterfeit medicines via its search site, but now seems to have stepped up to the plate.

A posting on the company's official blog by litigation counsel Michael Zwibelman notes that Google has filed a civil lawsuit in federal court "against advertisers we believe have deliberately broken our rules."

The actions concern the sponsored links generated when an Internet user enters a relevant search term. It does not concern 'organic' search results – the main body of results generated over which search engine operators have little control.

Read more on the lawsuit here