Google have removed some piracy related terms from instant search. This means that if you were to look for things like “Torrents”, “BitTorrent”, or “Rapidshare” you will actually need to type the whole word in and search just like you used to without the ever helpful Google giving you a nudge in the right direction.
Now obviously you can see why Google have done this and it does make sense. I do think that there are a few issues with this however. Firstly what if you want to use BitTorrent primarily to find Linux install files or video news? There is a whole bunch of content out there that is in fact entirely legal to share that now maybe will not get the same level of visibility.
Secondly I think we are forgetting that BitTorrent is in fact a company just like every other. The VP of BitTorrent had this to say:
“We respect Google’s right to determine algorithms to deliver appropriate search results to user requests. That being said, our company’s trademarked name is fairly unique, and we’re pretty confident that anyone typing the first six or seven letters deserves the same easy access to results as with any other company search."
I find it funny that Google is banning these words from appearing in Instant Search yet terms such as “How to cheat on taxes”, “how to build a bomb” and “how to kidnap a child” are freely still being auto-completed.
Personally I don’t pay attention to the whole “predictive search” thing. Usually I search from within Google Chromes Omnibar (address bar) and if I ever actually visit Google.co.uk I generally have an excellent idea of what I’m searching for before I commit to pressing enter.
To be honest I think that the people who actively download illegal content from Torrents know exactly how to get to these sites and don’t need to type it in Google every time anyway…
It is a step in the right direction for Google, but perhaps they need to clean up a few other areas as well before penalising torrent sites too harshly.