Pressure from the culture industry pushed Google into setting up a search filter to try to reduce Internet piracy. Now, the star search engine has removed BitTorrent and its client uTorrent from the Google blacklist. The two P2P file-exchange services, which had been censored from the beginning by the company’s piracy filter, now appear as suggested results in the Google search engine autocomplete and Google Instant.
The Google filter contains dozens of terms related to piracy, meaning that when a user types the first letters of any of the censored words, the autocomplete won’t suggest any results, although it still shows the sites once the search is run.
This “unblocking” of BitTorrent and uTorrent entails a strong increase in search traffic for both sites and a real advantage over other P2P services, since, in the meantime, Google users who search for terms like The Pirate Bay or RapidShare will carry on without seeing any suggestions before typing the entire word, causing a huge drop in searches for those terms.
In recent months, BitTorrent has strongly insisted that its business is not related with piracy. In fact, during its campaign “Does BitTorrent = piracy?” the firm’s CEO, Eric Klinker, made it clear: “We do not endorse piracy. We don’t point to piracy sites. We don’t host any infringing content.” Perhaps this push to disassociate itself from the word piracy has borne fruit and has managed to convince Google. What has happened is that the number of visitors to both BitTorrent and uTorrent has surged thanks to the autocomplete suggestions.
Searches for “BitTorrent” on Google (Source: TorrentFreak)
Google has never revealed the guidelines it follows when including a term on its blacklist, but this is the first time that it has ever eliminated words from its piracy filter; not even MegaUpload—which has been out of service since January 2012—has managed to be removed from the list.