Torrent sites see traffic halve after Google search update

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Last week, Google announced that it was updating its search algorithm with a new “Pirate” release that would filter out results pointing to filesharing sites known to carry links to copyright-breaching material. Obviously it was a measure that the movies and music industry had been lobbying for hard for over a decade, and the internet giant has been taking extra flak recently from the likes of News Corp.

According to Torrentfreak, that update has been exceptionally successful (from Google and the media company’s point of view). It’s carrying an interview with ISO Hunt that suggests that the website has seen its traffic referrals from search drop by 50%, and its overall traffic shrink by even more.

There’s graphs and images showing the differences between Google searches over at Torrentfreak. Many filesharing sites, including The Pirate Bay, are upbeat however, claiming that their traffic referrals from search are low any way.

The Pirate filter apparently works by targeting sites that have received a large number of copyright takedown requests under the United States’ Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Since DMCA is a blunt instrument often abused by fish barrel shooting lawyers, it’ll be interesting to see what – if any – affect the same algorithm has on sites like Github that have been (often incorrectly) caught up in large numbers of DMCA requests.

[Image – CC/ The Creative Element]

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