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Google Censors “Piratey” Searches

Google has been the voice for an open internet, at least as long as the open internet benefits them (you know — like they pretty obvious did with the net neutrality laws and Android?). Partially due to Google’s reputation, and also simply due to frustration at the power plays, users on the hunt for specific internet goodies have been outraged at Google’s most recent move: censoring searches that clearly related to internet piracy.

According to Unite the Cows, Google is now censoring any searches that are “closely associated with piracy” from its primary search results pages (the “Instant” and “Auto Complete” services, specifically; non-instant searches, real-time searches, and so forth are being left alone). This move is simply the fulfillment of a promise for Google, however, since the company told the U.S. Government that it would comply with rulings to block these results.

What exactly determines “closely associated with piracy,” though? It seems that Google has taken it upon themselves to create a behemoth of a blacklist that includes various search terms associated with torrenting, major torrenting sites, and torrenting software, rapid sharing terms, rapid sharing sites, and rapid sharing software.

As previously mentioned, there’s an established work-around; since this doesn’t apply to the non-instant SERP from Google, users can simply disable this by clicking the “Instant is on” text to the right of the “search” button on any search engine result page. The non-instant results will give uncensored, unfiltered content that will include the less than legally spotless sites. Further, while the auto-population and instant results for the searches don’t yield full results (or any at all with some searches), the completed SERP (the one achieved through hitting ENTER) will show at least a more complete list even with Instant enabled.

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Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in 2002. His work as an SEO consultant since 2006, and subsequently to content writing for technology and internet-focused publications, has done nothing but fuel this passion.
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