Mediafire was one of the file hosting sites that benefited from the Megaupload take down in January 2012. The site managed to increase its traffic significantly and it appeared as if it would be able to withstand the storm that reached other file hosting sites shortly thereafter. Other file hosting sites frantically started to protect their service from the same demise that had befallen Megaupload. Some like Filesonic blocked all of the site's file sharing capabilities, while others blocked all traffic from the United States, switched to a country code domain to avoid falling under US jurisdiction or plain simply closed down completely.
Today when you click on a file link in Google Search that is pointing to MediaFire, you are redirected to the error page http://www.mediafire.com/error.php?errno=381.
The indexed link is unavailable.
The link that was indexed is currently set to a non-indexing state and cannot be accessed.
If you copy the link url and paste it directly in your browser's address bar, you are taken to the download page from where you can download the file normally. It is also interesting to note that downloads are still working if you are using Bing Search instead of Google.
It is not clear at this point if Google Search is the only referrer that has been blocked by Mediafire, or if there are other sites that have been blocked as well by the file hosting service.
Another thing that is unclear is whether this has been an intentional move by the site, or if it is a technical issue that will be resolved at a later point in time. It does not make lots of sense from a legal point of view, unless law enforcement agencies are using Google exclusively for their research.
Users who find files that they cannot download should copy and paste the url into their browser's address bar to download it. It is alternatively possible to install an extension like Refcontrol to modify the referrer for sites that are blocked by Mediafire.
Lets discuss the move in the comments.
Update: Download links are working again. It seems to have been a technical issue after all.
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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.