large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

UK’s new anti-piracy tactic? Hoping nobody clicks past first Google Search page

Google and Microsoft are helping to combat UK torrent sites by applying the kiss of death that is relegation from the first page of search results.

In new guidelines agreed with the UK government and bodies representing the creative industries, Google Search and Bing will also delete illegal sharing sites from search suggestions.

So, for example, those who may begin typing ‘Pirate Bay’ will not see an autocomplete option.
See also: MWC 2017

All-in-all it should mean web users who search for ‘Game of Thrones download’ are far more likely to see legitimate, royalty-paying download sources, such as iTunes, Google Play and the like.

Both Bing and Google Search will be compliant with the new code over the next couple of months, the Telegraph reports.

The news was greeted with optimism by industry figures, who also warned there is a long way to go before the problems of search-based piracy are resolved.

Geoff Taylor, CEO of the BPI, told the Telegraph: “We have long campaigned for search engines to do more to ensure fans are directed to legal sources for music or other entertainment. There is much work still to do to achieve this.

“The Code will not be a silver bullet fix, but it will mean that illegal sites are demoted more quickly from search results and that fans searching for music are more likely to find a fair site.”

A Google spokesperson said: “Google has been an active partner for many years in the fight against piracy online. We remain committed to tackling this issue and look forward to further partnership with rights holders.”

Whether demotion in search rankings will deter members of the public illegally downloading content remains to be seen, but it will at least make the illegitimate sources less visible.

Put it this way, how often do you look past the first page of Google for anything?

Do you think this move will help halt piracy? Share your thoughts below.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.