It’s been a while, so you could be forgiven for letting it slip your mind, but Google is in the habit of censoring its auto-complete suggestions. Starting almost a year ago El Goog began removing suggestions for content relating to search terms like torrent, bittorrent, and RapidShare. According to TorrentFreak, a recent update to Google’s search tools has expanded the auto-complete blackout to include the names of file sharing websites.
Users that enter searches including terms like pirate bay, isohunt, and btmon are finding their searches pull up no suggestions. It’s just a few extra keystrokes, so what’s the harm? Statistics have shown that limiting auto-complete results negatively affects the traffic for sites. The sites are still in search results, but people find them less. These moves are likely undertaken to win support from the entertainment industry.
While this is certainly more acceptable than extreme anti-piracy measures like SOPA/Protect IP, something doesn’t sit right. A Pirate Bay spokesperson claims this is one more step along the road to censoring search results. Do you think so?