back to article YouTube escapes Google's piracy site smackdown

Google has admitted its own YouTube operation will not be affected by algorithm changes designed to demote pirate sites. Google announced the proposed changes on Friday in the hope of fending off new legislation designed to make it act more responsibly. From this week Google will modify its search results so that websites are …


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  1. Absent

    I wonder how this might affect the overall use and hence profits for Google. How much of their page impressions are from people searching for torrents and such? If say Bing, don't censor their results and people find it easier to locate what they want there, could it start a slow creep away?

    1. ArmanX

      I'm wondering how much this will change things...

      Searching for "pirate bay" will probably still return that site in the first ten results. And more to the point, there are so few "legitimate" websites that use the word "torrent" along with popular movie titles that any reduction in score will have no result. Regardless of how the results are pushed down in ranking, you'll find what you were searching for. The point isn't brand loyalty if all you're doing is downloading the latest season of [insert popular TV show here], so one torrent site is as good as the next - and most of them point to each other anyway.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This infographic clearly explains Google's policies.

    Maybe we can call it "one company, two systems"?

  3. Big_Ted
    Thumb Down

    Google favours its own services shock story.....

    Next thing you know the BBC will start running trailers advertising its own output and ignoring others.

    Well of course they do, its what I would expect and don't see whats wrong, its not as if you are forced to use Google as your search service, there are others out there, Bang and Youhoo are just 2 of them.

    If they were the only search engine then fair enough....

    1. NogginTheNog

      Re: Google favours its own services shock story.....

      Except... is the BBC allowed to buy adverts for it's output in/on other media (ie. newspapers, magazines, on ITV and Sky)? I mean within the UK only of course?

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: Google favours its own services shock story.....

      If Google base the algorithm around the proportion of content, then YouTube will be less affected, and it will be legitimate to do so. A site that hosts a million videos and gets a thousand take down requests - e.g. 99.9% legitimate content is compared to a smaller site that hosts a thousand videos and gets five hundred take down requests - i.e. only 50% legitimate content. If the algorithm were just to compare the number of take down requests, then the former site which is overwhelmingly legitimate would get penalised by the site that is plainly either aimed at pirated content or doesn't care.

      Naturally the algorithm should be based around take-down requests as a proportion of the content. In which case, it may well be the case that YouTube wont be as penalised.

    3. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Google favours its own services shock story.....

      @Big_Ted, BBC is not permitted to advertise any other services, so that's why they don't - completely different situation.

  4. Turtle

    Not to be taken too seriously.

    Reducing the traffic it pushes to pirate sites in order to push that traffic to YouTube does not, to me, signal any great change in Google policy: it is still intent on profiting from piracy and copyright infringement on an industrial scale; it is merely cutting out the intermediaries, which might reduce its gross revenue but at the same time boost its net. Evidently it is desirous, if not to turn on profit on its YouTube acquisition, then at least to stanch the loss that it is taking.

  5. Allicorn

    "Google News filters its feed so that critical stories, such as (say) this one, disappear from view within minutes"

    Are you saying that Google specifically de-lists stories critical of itself?

    Citation needed.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      1. Yes

      2. You can cite me.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      It happens more often than I care to remember, but one example was this one that appeared and then vanished:

      Not actually that critical, just a rude headline that GN didn't appear to appreciate.


      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Well, as of this posting, "New Google tool lets you PROBE YOURSELF" gets your article at the first position on the first page.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          We're talking about the Google News front page. That story is ages old now, it'll never be on the front page again.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pirate links on YouTube

    So if this works, and sites containing contested material (or links to such material) is downgraded with the exception of YouTube, surely people will just start putting more links (or 'videos' that just show a URL) to the same material on YouTube itself (which is probably what Google want).

    Youtube will just fill up with 5 second videos, or comments sections containing links to torrents/filestores, etc

    Expect to see lots of 'video' uploads called "<insert latest blockbuster movie title> download".

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    They'll end up doing people searching for pirated content a favour

    Eventually pirated content will be separated from legit content and people who want it will just click straight onto page 15 and get link after link to pirate sites.

  8. Majinboo

    Its exploitable.

    Bots and armies of tools will surely exploit this 'report' system to demote legitimate websites of their choosing while those who want pirated content will be able to find it without Google.

    FYI Google isn't very good at finding pirate sites, it used to be much better but since last year megaupload story(maybe before) or so they have removed about 2/3 of the pirated content from Google search results, or it just finds crappy results at least when you search in English only.

  9. John Lilburne

    Yeah well ...

    ... the immoral arsewipes over at Google are getting some 5 million VALID takedown requests a month now. They reckoned that processing 5,000,000 a year of youtube takedowns cost them $500 million. If the rate is now at $6 billion one can see why they would want to reduce that.

    The next thing to do is to target all the companies whose adverts via Google appear on pirate sites. Hit teh bastards in teh pocket and hit them hard.

    1. Psyx

      Re: Yeah well ...

      5 million takedowns cost them 500 million?

      I'm calling bullshit on that. $100 for a drone to read an email, spend five minutes checking the contents and another minute removing it doesn't cost a hundred bucks. Even if invalid requests swamp valid ones at 3:1, it's still bullshit.

      If they're serious, I'll be only to happy to save them some cash by offering the same service at half price, and crowd-sourcing the work for $25 a pop to people.

      Google are part of the problem because they offer illegal site owners money for advertising. If they cut that off then site owners wouldn't be profiting and the problem would reduce.

  10. Craigness
    Thumb Down

    Pretty obvious really

    "the content identification system Google has developed, and implemented, should make the filing of takedown notices redundant." Yet you don't know why youtube won't be affected by the new policy? It's not a pirate site because any pirated material (and some which isn't or is fair use) is handed to its rightful owner (or one of the big media companies with a sufficiently broadly defined content portfolio) who then has the choice of a takedown, content removal (eg. delete the audio track) or ad revenue - all automated. It doesn't work too well for the little guy, but it's not them who are forcing the change. Sites which violate the big guys get demoted, and youtube isn't one of those sites.

  11. toadwarrior

    So long as no other sites like youtube are punished then it's fine. But if punish other video sharing sites then that's a clear abuse.

    The problem is that any video site is largely going to be hosting content that infringes copyright so how do you put one site above another fairly? So it would make sense just to ignore them rather than try to rate who is the worst at hosting copyright infringement.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought it said

    Sony, and I was okay with a world without Sony music. One less evil RIAA corp would have been fine with me.

  13. Freshp2

    Well let's help google make it light for themselves....... As for music just pay artist separate from the lable and publishish so they actually get paid, like ringtone money, in the form of adwords or something you guys are smart Work it out. As for all other content creators.........same biz, google needs to think outside web. If it's posted, uploaded and your advertising against it...... Spred the wealth, be that good Shepard and change the game... Again. Might take as long as trying to scan every book...... Tag folks work, and find a way to get those lil $25 a year royalty checks rolling in good faith......... Game changers change the game.

  14. KroSha

    There's a hole here. Copyright infringements for YouTube videos are processed by YouTube. They take the video offline if it's subject to a notice. Those notices don't go to Google Search. For that to happen, then there would have to be two notices, one to YouTube to get it removed and one to Google to get the search listing demoted. How many lawyers are going to do that if just one notices gets the result of having the clip pulled?

    Or maybe Search would just pass the notices to YouTube for action?

  15. Richard Gadsden

    Isn't it obvious how YouTube doesn't get downgraded?

    All the complaints to Google Search about YouTube get passed to YT, get processed, removing the video, and then when GS goes to look at the video, it's already gone, so their process determines that YT doesn't have any bad videos in the first place.

  16. Senior Ugli

    So is this just going to denote sites like rapidlibrary and files tube? or will it do torrent sites too?

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