Google Banning Torrents Won’t Make a Difference

Prayank

There have been hordes of publications reporting that Google might soon ban Torrent sharing sites from surfacing on its search results and as a result, this might affect traffic on these sites — well, most certainly it won’t.

There have been quite a few instances in the past few years where popular torrent sites like PirateBay or Kickass Torrents has been cracked down on but they’ve successfully put out proxy websites which quickly gained as much popularity as the original ones.

Reason? Word of mouth.

According to a report by TorrentFreak, the UK government are exploring possible options alongwith search engine companies, in order to crack down on websites which are violating copyright laws.

The report also mentions that the ‘anti-piracy code’ will come into existence in the next four months in the UK, and if it does, its potential spread to other countries is imminent.

However, the thing to observe here is that almost everyone searching for torrents on the web usually accesses their favourite torrent sharing website directly — Google isn’t really playing a big part in the traffic such websites receive except maybe cutting down on their SEO traffic, which doesn’t add up to be much.

Sites affected and URLs removed by Google in the past one year.

Even if you search for a torrent via Google right now, you won’t be directed to a popular Torrent website as those have already been struck down by the search engine giant.

In the past six years, Google has removed URLs north of 2.13 billion due to copyright infringement reports. 65 million of these removals came in the last 30 days itself.

Top Torrent sites receive a small percentage of their traffic from search engines. | Source: SimilarWeb

The California-based search engine giant has already removed popular torrent websites from showing up on the top pages of its search results.

 Source: Alexa

But there has been little or no dip in their popularity since the site still stays up — thanks to hundreds of proxy copies on different URLs and netizens communicating the new URLs to one another.

The internet is a colossal space and to crack down all the piracy efforts by stubborn-headed web-pirates is going to be a herculean task for Google or any other search engine.

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Prayank

Written By

Prayank

Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.