The latest updates to Google’s algorithm helped reduce search traffic to piracy sites throughout 2020, such as those offering illegal downloads of movies, music and other content. The finding comes from a study published by TorrentFreak last Friday (1st).
The survey, carried out in partnership with the piracy tracking company MUSO, shows that the torrent sites lost about a third of the visits from the search engine between December 2019 and November 2020.
According to the report, the downward trend in search engine traffic to these sites began in January, the same time that the Mountain View giant launched one of the algorithm updates. Then, there was a brief increase in research between March and April, caused by the start of the new coronavirus pandemic.
In May, a further drop was noticed, even with people staying at home. This time, the reduction in search traffic for torrents was 20%, according to the publication, coinciding with the launch of the main update of the search engine algorithm, on the 4th of that month.
Website confirms drop in traffic
Google does not officially confirm that updates to its algorithm are related to the drop in search traffic to hacking sites. But according to the company responsible for the report, there is a clear relationship between the two facts.
TorrentFreak claims to have heard from the operator of one of the biggest torrent sites today that there was a 35% reduction in accesses originating from Google in 2020, practically ratifying the data collected. According to the publication, the person did not know about the study done.
The company also mentions that in addition to the algorithm, other factors may have contributed to the decrease in access to piracy pages in 2020, such as the lower offer of new content, due to the pandemic.