• http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    His concluding paragraph is naive. Matt Schruers has been writing on IPR with respect to online music infringement for years. I don’t think there is any point in questioning his knowledge of how online infringement occurs but if it were as simple as “focusing on strategic search engine optimization … so as to promote the page rank (sic) of lawful sites” a lot of other Websites would have resolved their own IPR issues that have nothing to do with illegal music downloads. He doesn’t seem to understand the scope of the search problem (which is itself only one part of the greater IPR puzzle).

  • aaronwallseo

    There are numerous issues with that research. The biggest being that defensive behavior is quick-cheap-easy to implement (& many ad resellers/campaign managers benefit from mixing branded ad performance in with unbranded), whereas some of the darker behaviors will take time to impact the market as the social norms get re-established around what is possible & practiced.

    One of the big issues with the “legit” sites is that if they are widely trusted they will become more abusive in terms of user behavior. YouTube itself was founded on piracy, with one of the co-founders proudly posting pirated content to it. And yet now that YouTube is widely trusted & “legit” I kept seeing unskipable 30-second pre-roll ads before content. Even if I refreshed to see a different ad, I kept seeing the same unskipable ad 4 or 5 times in a row before they finally gave me a different ad unit.

    I have also seen some sites that had copyright restrictions based on region or such where they wouldn’t let the content load, but they would use your browser & bandwidth to loop through as many ads as they could while you were there not watching any of the content.

    So long as online advertising CPMs outside of the search channel are significantly below the CPMs on TV then of course the legit sites have every incentive to screw with usability of their site to make it a bit worse, in the hopes of slowing the shift of consumer behavior away from TV to the web.

    Of course search engines have an incentive to rank pirated content (even beyond direct ad revenue from their ad networks), because the existence of pirate options is leverage they can use in order to negotiate better terms with big media companies when striking up direct relationships with them.

  • abigail_rocket_blast

    That seems contradictory – if pirate sites get very little of their traffic from search engines, how will improving SEO for lawful sites help matters? Surely if users are going to the Pirate Bay or wherever directly anyway, having Netflix appear top for a search they’re not making is irrelevant?

  • http://www.kyleeggleston.com/ Kyle Eggleston

    They are all responsible for following the law. The downloader, the host and any middle man.