Google Pirate Update: The Search Engine’s Effort to Curb Online Piracy

Google Pirate Update: The Search Engine’s Effort to Curb Online Piracy

The buzz was around. And everyone was expecting. Google was about to bring forth a new update. Everyone had their fingers crossed. Only a few days back, the Google Penguin Update 3.0 was introduced. It had hit a few websites as well. So, as news about Google’s new update, the Google Pirate Update became evident, websites became wary as well. Was it going to hit new websites now?

What is It All About?

The Google Pirate Update is the Company’s effort to penalize sites that violate copyright legislation. This was driven by a few criticisms of Google’s earlier policy towards copyright violation. The policy was attacked time and again by professionals. For example, Robert Thomson, the Chief Executive of News Corp, had referred to Google as “a platform for piracy and the spread of malicious networks”.

Google, however, retorted by saying that they had different anti-piracy measures in place. However, they still brought forth this Update by making a few additions to the earlier one. The objective was just to ensure that the websites violating the copyrights are downranked.

Taking the 2012 Update Forward

The Google Pirate Update is being referred to as a mere refreshment of the policy they had introduced in 2012. For more than two years, Google had not tried to maintain this update properly to stop piracy. Hence, despite functioning as a filter like Google Penguin Update or the Google Panda Update, its impact was almost nil. However, as Google has brought forth its long neglected update now, it is likely to affect a number of websites.

According to a report by Business Insider India, “Google has pushed out an update to its search algorithm that is making it even harder for people to discover free movie and music torrents, with sites like Pirate Bay, Isohunt and among the worst affected by the rollout.”

Will Your Website be Affected by this Update?

If there has not been any violation of copyright by your website, then you have almost nothing to fear from the Google Pirate Update. In fact, the pirate sites were among the most affected by the Google Pirate Update. For example,, one of the most popular European sites offering torrents of all types, were said to experience a drastic fall in traffic. Here’s a look at the fall of traffic for the site over the last few days:

Reports Google Pirate Update Rolled This Week

[Image courtesy:]

Downranking Sites with DMCA Notices

So, Google Pirate Update has finally arrived. And a number of websites have been hit hard by it, especially those involved in copyright violation. But the question remains: is it over? Is it all that the Google Pirate Update has to offer? Or, will the effects be even more disastrous for more websites? Earlier, in August 2012, Google had announced that they “would downrank sites for which ‘they’ received a large number of valid DMCA notices”. And recently, they said, “We’ve now refined the signal in ways we expect to visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites.”

Transformed Google Ads

Even the Google Ads have been impacted by the Google Pirate Update. The Company seems to have changed its ads policy a bit. Now, when a user looks for websites to download movies or songs, Google is likely to suggest original content. For example, when a person looks for a movie, he is not going to get as a suggestion any more. Instead, websites, such as IMDB might be flashed by the search engine.

This is likely to direct more traffic to these original websites than to the sites offering pirated content. Thus, Google is going to increase the traffic to these original sites. Compared to these, the footfalls to the sites offering pirated content is going to reduce significantly. It will affect their rankings and thus, may result in complete shutdown for them.

Impact on Autocomplete and Suggestion Options

Earlier, when you would search for some keyword in Google, the search engine would suggest a few terms. Besides, it also had autocomplete options for forms. However, the search engine is set to change this as well. It is going to stop showing the options related to piracy. This is also likely to reduce the probability of the users of visiting the sites that offer pirated content. Thus, Google Pirate Update is already playing a major role in curbing web piracy to a significant extent.

What Next?

The effects of this update is expected to become evident soon. So, till then, all that the web masters can do now is just wait with their fingers crossed to see whether this Update has any new impact on their website.

Dipanjan Mukherjee

Dipanjan Mukherjee, a content writer and editor by profession, and a web enthusiast by choice, takes special interest in various subjects, including social media, web design, online marketing, and others. A post graduate diploma in Mass Communication and Masters in English, he started his career as a content writer and has over 7 years of experience in content writing and editing. He has worked in a number of industries, including IT, market research, SEO and others. He contributes blogs for Softz Solutions, The Perfect Blender, and a number of other popular sites.

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