Is Bing doing a better job than Google on torrents?

Bing vs Google


Late last year, Google announced it would be blocking autocomplete on searches for “torrents” They did this in a rather blunt way, blocking any attempt to use the word in an autocomplete, regardless of the likely copyright status of the content searched for.

We argued that this would create a subtle but important discrimination against legal torrent distribution, by making it a bit harder and less suggestive that you might try searching for, say a “Linux torrent” or a “Yes Men Save the world torrent”. After all, if the Yes Men want you to find their film on torrent, why should they and you be pushed back?

So we tested how this works on Google and Bing. As you can see for yourself, Bing, at least in the UK, does not seem to be blocking the word ‘torrent’ at all. But most importantly, on searches such as “Vuze torrent” or “Linux torrent”, these legal suggestions are made – unlike on Google.

Google are language and search specialists. It can’t be beyond their wit to compile lists of content that is clearly subject to copyright distribution restrictions, or not, and do the right thing.

Google shouldn’t be discriminating against legitimate torrent users: that is well outside their avowed mission and commitment to openness and technological innovation. And they certainly shouldn’t be deliberately doing a worse job than Bing.