It seems as though every pundit in the world is fretting about Google's new algorithm (for one reason or another, as we noted yesterday). It's supposedly designed to demote sites with high numbers of copyright complaints, and change results of a search based on the possibilities that there is a nasty pirate site somewhere in the results.
In the end, ask yourself one simple question: Is this even possible or is Google full of crap?
Let's start by examining the goals of this algorithm, and potential issues with it. The algorithm aims to get some of the pesky torrent sites reduced to rubble so when the US Congress eventually has a hearing on the piracy "problem," Google can walk out on stage and say: "We did our part!"
In other words, this is purely a publicity stunt and a way for Google to document the pundits who will be coming out from under rocks for the next month or two. Some will shake their fists at Google. Others will accuse Google of favouritism. Still others will say Google is the greatest company ever.
Of course, none of this would be necessary if it were not for the aforementioned sites that are ruining the landscape with their evil torrenting of copyrighted content. So these sites will not appear anymore? Or the ones that do appear will be government honeypots designed to bust the 14-year-olds who are downloading The Avengers?
When you search for "Best Torrent Site," essentially you seem to get a directory of the best torrent sites. At least, that is what it looks like to me.
You get results like "The Top 35 Torrent Download Sites of 2012" and Torrent Freak's "10 Most Popular Torrent Sites." Pages and pages of sites describe how the mechanism works and how to use torrents the best way.
What am I missing here? Is there some secret website that is the real torrent site where I can effectively download a copy of the new movie? I have no idea. (I should mention to the government snoops that I have zero interest in the new Batman movie and I paid good money to see The Avengers in 3D at the cinema. Just so they know.)
Back to these torrent sites. I would assume Google is saying that it will penalise actual torrent sites that have been hit with one takedown notice after another. OK, fine, but a quick search will still reveal these bad actors, yes? I suppose it will. Maybe it won't.
As I'm thinking about the implications of this, I have to ask the question nobody seems to be asking: How does Google know that a site is getting a takedown notice in the first place? The answer is that it's not about actual takedown notices. It's about demands made to Google itself!
The only copyright complaints made to Google seem to be about YouTube videos. According to reports, if you complain to Google about some search results, Google will demote the site. Really?
This is lame and asking for trouble. Hey, do you hate some website? Then harangue Google saying it is guilty of some sort of violation. That will surely ruin it.
Real takedown notices are a private communication targeting the site, not Google. There is no clearing house for the information that I can find. Let's see by searching "Current copyright violation takedown notices." The results yield your best how-to guide, but there is no laundry list of actual notices. While learning how to do these takedowns, you realise that these things can come from anyone and from any direction.
Unless Google adjusts results based on legitimate and legal takedown notices, this is just a dumb publicity stunt that will result in a lot of paperwork and complaining. It makes Google look bad at the end of the day.