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?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.