Google has reportedly made significant changes to its search algorithms, driving down results that are clearly associated with file-sharing websites. The company appears to have blacklisted some of the most popular sharing sites, including The Pirate Bay, Btjunkie, isoHunt and TorrentReactor, along with locker sites such as FileSonic and FileServe.
Although users can still find search results related to the blacklisted terms, the items have been removed from the Autocomplete and Instant features, which finish what a user is typing and automatically populate the results.
Google earlier this year was blasted by members of a US House subcommittee for alleged complacency involving companies that profit from pirated content. The search company and other players in the tech industry have become vocal critics of the current Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which has raised concerns over free speech and potential abuse.
If the SOPA bill is approved, it will enable the government to build and enforce its own blacklist of sites that are believed to be involved in piracy.