January 27, 2011, 2:45 PM — What do curse words, porn terms and the word BitTorrent have in common? They're all blacklisted from Google Instant.
Google Instant is Google's search tool that shows results dynamically as you type. To shield our sensitive eyes, Google Instant hides offensive words and phrases so they won't appear unless you type the full query and press "enter." Now, Google has added BitTorrent to the blacklist along with several Websites that the company closely associates with digital piracy, such as RapidShare and MegaUpload.
So for example, if you type "bitt" into the search bar, the results field goes blank. Same goes if you type "rapids" or "megau." But if you fully complete the words "BitTorrent," "RapidShare" and "MegaUpload," Google does return instant results, realizing perhaps that there's no stopping you at that point.
Google Acts as Word Cops
As Search Engine Land points out, this change has been in the pipeline since December, when Google announced a handful of copyright protection initiatives. "While it's hard to know for sure when search terms are being used to find infringing content, we'll do our best to prevent Autocomplete from displaying the terms most frequently used for that purpose," Kent Walker, Google's general counsel, wrote at the time.
Of course, hiding piracy-related search terms from Google Instant won't have a measurable impact on copyright infringement. The move seems more like an olive branch for the entertainment industry, which Google is now trying to court on a few fronts. In addition to Google TV, the company is reportedly creating music service and has flirted with paid movie rentals on YouTube.
The Company BitTorrent Not Pleased