It looks like Google is trying to make everyone happy with its search results, even those who illegally download movies and TV shows. Despite its well-established cooperation with the entertainment industry to demote links to contents that violate copyright, the search engine giant is now conspicuously displaying the best torrent sites at the top of its search result.
Googling “best torrent sites”
First spotted by Torrent Freak, a carousel with more than a dozen curated torrent sites appear when you search for the term “best torrent sites” or simply “torrent sites.” The section displays the names of sites such as The Pirate Bay, 1337x and RARBG with their logo. Clicking on any of those links will surface results for the associated term.
You may think some of the Google employees are curating the list manually. However, the whole process is likely automated, which creates another problem. While we know most of the torrent sites offer pirated content, things tend to get more confusing when users search for “streaming sites.” Torrent Freak also found that searching for “streaming sites” shows Netflix and Hulu along with the likes of pirating sites like Putlocker and Alluc.
Earlier this year, both Google and Microsoft signed an agreement in the UK to combat piracy by demoting links to websites that contain copyright-infringing content. While this feature seems to be handy for some casual torrent users or those looking to save on streaming subscription, copyright holders of these contents may not be equally excited.