Thursday, January 27, 2011

Google sets out to frustrate would-be filesharers with short attention spans

The headline on the Zeropaid report is quite eye-catching:

Google Begins Filtering Cyberlocker, BitTorrent Search Results
Except, actually, it isn't. What Google has done is stopped the autocomplete "guessing" when you type the name of some sites that help people share files into the search box.

Google have also gone about drawing up the names that don't autocomplete in a very half-arsed way, too, which suggests this is the anti-piracy equivalent of telling your colleagues about a New Year's Resolution: sure, it sounds good to think it might be a positive action, but really it's just a gesture designed to look better than it actually is.

"I was going to go on Bittorrent to see if I could download every record ever made" says Fandango Gibbons, 21, "but I didn't know the address. So I went to Google to see if I could find it, but I had to type the whole name in the search box. It didn't suggest it or nothing. Keystroke after keystroke after keystroke. It was too much, you know? And even after I'd typed 'bittorrent' in, it still did nothing. Just sat there waiting for me to press 'enter' or 'return' or something. As if! Like I'm a robot. So I went into town and bought all the records ever made instead. Much better than typing a whole word."