Google is now displaying recommendations for the “best torrent sites” at the top of your search results when you enter those keywords in the search field. This query provides you with a comprehensive list of some of the most popular torrent websites in the world, including notorious platforms like The Pirate Bay, ExtraTorrent, and RARBG. The torrent sites are displayed as a list, which makes it easy for users to see the services they may be interested in on a single screen. It's currently unclear whether the results are automated or curated by a team of employees, though the former scenario seems much more likely.
Much like the aforementioned carousel, Google also presents you with a scrollable list of popular streaming sites when you search for such platforms online. That particular list is curious in the sense that it contains both legal and illegal services, or at least both legal platforms and those that are notorious for being widely used for copyright infringement. For example, legal streaming portals like Hulu are displayed alongside piracy sites like Putlocker, as can be seen in the gallery beneath this writing. While the automated nature its search results likely frees Google from any legal implication, it indicates that the search giant may not be adhering to the terms of an agreement it signed with Microsoft back in February. The pact, which began to take effect last month, aims to demote results in both the Google and Bing search engines that would lead to pirated content. The anti-piracy measures are being implemented in the UK in coordination with the Motion Picture Association, British Phonographic Industry, and the British Intellectual Property Office and seemingly don't affect the American English version of Google Search, i.e. google.com. The same feature isn't available on any other variant of the company's flagship Internet service.
It remains to be seen how major content providers and creators in the United States will react to Google’s new type of likely automated content recommendations. The proliferation of pirated content online has long been affecting creators, and Google’s way of helping those piracy portals get ahead in its search results is unlikely to help resolve this longstanding issue.