Google's been doing a lot lately to make entertainment companies happy. It started dropping "piracy" terms from suggestions a while back, it made more modifications to its search engine and culminated with Google starting to downgrade sites that get a lot of takedown notices over copyright issues.
That was three months ago and it was a major move. Google probably figure that this would finally get misguided music and movie companies off its back.
Or maybe it knew they would never have enough, but went along with it anyway. Because, yes, obviously, as soon as the plan was announced and now more so, entertainment companies were still whining about Google "not doing enough."
You see, the copyright-dependent industries are still surprised to see links to pirate sites in Google results. They want and expect Google to simply remove all pirate links and all pirate sites, on its own, and be done with it.
Anyone who knows how technology works knows that this is impossible, but evidently that's not the music or movie industry.
Still, even if they will never be satisfied, TorrentFreak set out to see whether Google at least did what it promised, downgrade sites that received a lot of complaints.
In its tests, which you can easily replicate, searching for things like "the dictator download" or "kanye west mp3" would result in plenty of links to pirate sites.
However, for more generic searches, just for the movie or the artist, big pirate sites are getting a lower ranking. But smaller sites are taking their places, the end result is that, while the ranking is different, most links are still to pirate sites.
The music and movie industry will insist that this is Google's fault, indeed that it's doing it on purpose. But what they won't understand is that all of this is automated and that every site on the planet has an equal chance of being featured in the results for any query.
In fact, pirate sites are now being artificially pushed down due to the new ranking factors.
As such, the fact that legal sites can't seem to get better ranking than low-budget pirate sites is a very clear indication that either these legal sites have no idea what they're doing or what SEO is or that people overwhelmingly prefer pirate sites, for whatever reason.