Google Uses ‘Bucket’ to Remove ‘Ocean’ of Pirated Search Results: 200 Million in 2013

By Jeffrey Thompson
Jeffrey Thompson
Jeffrey Thompson
November 12, 2013 Updated: November 12, 2013

The pirates are on the run as copyright holders ask Google to remove more links than ever that allegedly infringe upon their material.

Torrent Freak has added up all of Google’s weekly “Request to Remove Content” reports for 2013 to determine that copyright holders have requested more than 200 million links be removed from Google’s search results so far this year.

In 2011, there were only 10 million such requests.

The domain with the most links removed from Google’s search results is with over 9 million links, followed by and (a European file sharing website) with roughly 5 million each.

British Recorded Music Industry was the top reporting organization with over 45,000,000 requests followed by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) with over 35,000,000 request.

Requests that come via fax and written letters are not included in this report, neither are requests directed to YouTube or Blogger. Only those requests that come via Google’s web form are included in its weekly reports.

Now that companies have automated the process, it has led to some false-positives. The most notable ones were when HBO and Microsoft requested Google take down links to their own websites.

BBC, CBS, Wikipedia, and others have also been falsely identified as violators of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Most sites that have reported problems are only impacted in relation to 10 percent of their indexed URLs. Other sites, however, such as and had over 50 percent of their indexed URLs reported for violating DMCA.

RIAA executive Brad Buckles has suggested Google ban entire domains, according to Torrent Freak.

Buckles told Torrent Freak: “Every day produces more results and there is no end in sight. We are using a bucket to deal with an ocean of illegal downloading.”

In the past month, more than 26 million URLs were requested removed, according to Google’s most recent report. Requests have increased about 1 million per week for the past three weeks. 

In September, Google released a 25-page report, described as “defensive” by Forbes, outlining its anti-piracy practices. Forbes points out that Google needs the support of the music industry in particular to support the Google-run YouTube and Google Play Music. 

The report states that Google is trying to create legitimate alternatives to piracy “by developing licensed products with beautiful user experiences.” It also states that Google is a “leader in rooting out and ejecting rogue sites from our advertising and payment services.”

Only a small portion of people who download files from “pirate” sites get to those site by Google search, Google said. It also puts the onus on copyright owners to track down websites infringing on their rights and having the content removed. Policing the sprawling internet is a task even a giant like Google may find daunting.



Jeffrey Thompson
Jeffrey Thompson