Search Engines Play Little Role in Online Piracy

Sites that hold copyrighted materials get very little traffic from search engines

By on August 6th, 2013 07:18 GMT

Despite what the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been trying to make everyone believe, Google and other search engines have little to do with the amount of online piracy.

Of course, this isn’t exactly a big surprise for those who understand how the Internet works. But, at least, now it’s official.

A new report from the nonprofit Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) claims removing infringing links from search results has little effect on preventing piracy.

Furthermore, copyright-infringing sites receive very little traffic from search, and search terms such as “mp3” or “torrent” aren’t even that frequent. Instead, those who seek to download copyrighted material search for terms like an artist’s name, which is harder to nix from a search result page.

On average, about 15 percent of traffic to torrent sites comes from search, while The Pirate Bay only gets about 8 percent traffic from search engines.

This means that most DMCA requests sent to Google featuring such sites are more or less a waste.

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