Last October, a change to Google’s search algorithm started downranking sites that had generated lots of piracy takedown notices – a long-anticipated tweak by rightsholders. At the time, we noted that one rapid result was a fall in traffic to popular torrent-based filesharing sites. Now TorrentFreak has been taking a look at the effect the changes had on online storage services (cyberlockers) with similar effects.
Sites like 4shared, Zippyshare, Turbobit and FreakShare have all seen their traffic drop sharply since October – although interestingly, in most cases it was falling before that point at a shallower rate. Also interesting: the fact that Mega, the service founded by Kim Dotcom – although he isn’t involved any more – has bucked the trend, with its traffic rising since October. Not that Mega is free from accusations of piracy: PayPal recently withdrew its payment services from Mega, reportedly due to concerns about its use of encryption technology, and thus “unknowability of what is on the platform”.