Google Search Suggestions Block Download Related Suggestions

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 27, 2011
Updated • Dec 10, 2012
Google, Search

Google search suggestions displays the most likely search terms in the search form once the user begins typing. Sometimes it is enough to enter one letter and hit the tab key to complete the suggestion. This can save some time and offer search options that the user may have otherwise not have thought of.

One constant problem for Google was the suggestion of suggestions surrounding downloads. A search phrase followed by torrent, or a name of one of the larger file hosting websites often displayed links to copyrighted contents.

Up until now it was enough to enter a name and the first chars of the downloading service or method, for instance Simpsons To which would have been auto-completed to Simpsons Torrent.

That however is a thing of the past as Google has blocked several terms from its auto-completion feature. Among them Bittorrent, torrent, Rapidshare and Megaupload. The filter in its current stage would block suggestions for Linux torrents for instance.

The search results on the other hand remain untouched, only the user has to enter the full search term manually to make the search.

As Torrentfreak points out; It is very strange that only some keywords are blocked while others remain untouched. Other Bittorrent software like Bitcomet, torrent sharing sites like The Piratebay or Isohunt, and other file sharing services like 4Shared or Mediafire are still included in the suggestions and auto-completions.

Even worse for the companies blocked is that suggestions have also been disabled for their names. If you search for Rapidshare for instance you won't see instant results, you won't get suggestions and you won't get auto-complete until the name has been fully entered into the search form.

This means that the affected companies will likely see a drop in traffic coming from Google.

Google is blocking suggestions regardless of legalities. They block suggestions for instance suggestion to find Ubuntu torrents or the homepage of Rapidshare or Megaupload. That alone should be reason enough to refine or remove the filter again. The second problem I see is that they only block some companies and websites. Is it explainable that some file sharing websites are blocked while others are not?

Maybe another reason to switch to Bing. What's your take on the matter?


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  1. bill said on July 1, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    What I really want is a way to block all things SPYGLE (google) from my computer! Chromium based browsers would be a joy to use if every one of them didn’t allow spygle to log every word typed in the address/search bar, then throw it in the users faces with their unstoppable “suggestions”. They grudgingly admit to collecting the information, but claim to “the information is anonymized within 24 hours. However, if you use Chrome Instant, your data can be kept up to two weeks before it’s deleted.” Yeah… and “the check’s in the mail”, “the dog ate my homework”, and “no, I won’t c*m* in your mouth, baby”.

  2. Umair Shaikh said on January 30, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Do you really need a suggestion box if you are searching for something. It’s just a time saving option. If i have to search something, i know what i have to search. Google suggestion was just a little help in that. I don’t think so one should swtich the search engine just because of this.

    Who ever needs a copyrighted material will search it everywhere unless he gets it

  3. Nebulus said on January 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    First thing I do when I setup a new browser is to disable suggestions for google, so this is not a big inconvenience for me. Moreover, I can find torrents for the linux distros I try on their official sites… But the big issue is that this kind of attitude will turn into full scale censorship sooner or later, and this is really bad.

  4. Great Technology said on January 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    interesting article .. according to my study.. thanks
    best regards from indonesia

  5. Seenu said on January 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I don’t know about this feature included in the google.

  6. noname said on January 27, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    BTW, bing censored adult word in Turkey, like sex or porn!

    And Next?

  7. candtalan said on January 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I have never before now used bing, but after reading this, bing is now
    in my bookmarks.
    (Ubuntu user)

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