Oh, and about that searching for torrents on Google…

If you remember back in the middle of April of this year I wrote a couple of posts here about the silliness of the Pirate Bay getting slapped down by Swedish courts when you could find the same stuff on Google

The thing is that for all the accusations of Pirate Bay being a file sharer the argument is fundamentally flawed. Pirate Bay as a site does not host any of the files that they are accused of sharing. All they are doing is providing a search engine interface for torrents that point to both legal and illegal content. It’s not like they are twisting anyone’s arm to download anything – they are providing a service not a file depot.

Well it turns out that since that time Google has very quietly been putting the kibosh on any of the custom search engine provided through Google to be able to return any torrent search results. According to Ernesto over at TorrentFreak

The immensely popular BitTorrent client uTorrent recently added a Google powered torrent search engine to its website. This added search capability used Google’s custom search program and allowed visitors to search for .torrent files on Google. For reasons unknown, Google appears to be blocking the use of its search technology on the site.


The search engine uses Google’s search algorithms to find .torrent files on sites such as The Pirate Bay and isoHunt. BitTorrent Inc. profits from this through search based ads that Google adds to the search results.

Google of course hasn’t issued any statements regarding this move, which really isn’t surprising. However considering that you can still use the filetype:torrent as part of your search on Google and still get links to torrent files to download one has to wonder about the reasoning behind the cut-off. I guess it’s a matter of it being okay for Google to profit off of the ad sales on Google search pages but no-one else should be able to in this case.

Way to go guys.

[hat tip to Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins]

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