As has become a tradition over the years, we present a list of the most visited BitTorrent sites of the new year. At the start of 2011 The Pirate Bay continues to pull in the most visitors, followed by Torrentz and isoHunt. Demonoid settles in fourth place thanks to a year without prolonged downtime, while LimeTorrents gets the honor of best newcomer.
What’s hot in the wonderful world of BitTorrent in 2011? At first glance little seems to have changed, as the top 3 is identical to that of last year. But moving down the list we see quite a few movers and shakers as well as a surprising newcomer.
Below we have compiled a list of the 10 most-visited torrent sites at the start of the new year. Only public and English language sites are included. The list is based on traffic rank reports from Compete and Alexa. In addition, we include last year’s ranking for each of the 10 sites.
Do you know a good public torrent site that’s not listed here? Feel free to plug it in a comment.
Update: 2012′s best torrent sites.
1. The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay is probably the best known BitTorrent brand on the Internet. The site was founded in 2003 and is still expanding, despite the immense legal witch hunt launched by the entertainment industries several years ago.
Alexa Rank: 76 / Compete Rank: 412 / Last year #1
Torrentz has been the leading BitTorrent meta-search engine for years. A few weeks ago the site traded in its .COM domain and switched to .EU, but this didn’t affect the site’s traffic.
Alexa Rank: 164 / Compete Rank: 927 / Last year #2
Last year was a tough one for isoHunt, as it became the first search engine that had to implement a keyword filter provided by the MPAA. Despite this setback, isoHunt is still the third largest torrent site in terms of traffic. In 2011, isoHunt hopes to get rid of the filter through the Appeals Court.
Alexa Rank: 194 / Compete Rank: 2,154 / Last year #3
KickassTorrents was the fastest growing newcomer of last year, and managed to continue this upward trend throughout 2010. The site released many new features and continues to innovate, still without a single banner ad on the site.
Alexa Rank: 289 / Compete Rank: 897 / Last year #11
BTjunkie had a pretty quiet year, which is usually good news for a site that operates in the BitTorrent niche. The only setback was the removal of the site’s front page from Google due to a DMCA complaint. As last year, BTjunkie settles in fifth place.
Alexa Rank: 299 / Compete Rank: 987 / Last year #5
The impossible happened. Demonoid finished 2010 with only a minimal amount of downtime, compared to weeks or months in previous years. A few weeks ago the site announced that it would move from the familiar .COM to a .ME domain in response to the news about US domain seizures.
Alexa Rank: 465 / Compete Rank: 1,647 / Last year #20
ExtraTorrent is one of those robust torrent indexes that don’t make the news very often. In 2010 it continued to expand and the site gained two spots compared to last year.
Alexa Rank: 519 / Compete Rank: 2,208 / Last year #9
TorrentDownloads is in the same league as ExtraTorrent, a no nonsense torrent index that provides torrents to millions of users each month.
Alexa Rank: 736 / Compete Rank: 1,119 / Last year #7
TorrentReactor fooled most of the tech press last year when it announced that it had bought a Russian town, one of the better PR stunts seen in 2010. On the flipside TorrentReactor seems to have lost some traffic due to a Google penalty, dropping the site to 9th place this year.
Alexa Rank: 1,088 / Compete Rank: 1,972 / Last year #6
LimeTorrents is the best newcomer of 2010 in terms of traffic, which promises a lot for the new year. The site went live half a year ago and already made it into the top 10 in this short period. It’s also a bit ironic as ‘Limewire’ got shutdown a few months ago.
Alexa Rank: 1,160 / Compete Rank: 7,127 / Last year #na
Honorable Mention EZTV
If there’s one site that deserves an honorable mention it’s EZTV. The leading TV-torrent release group almost made it into the top 10 on its own, but due the seasonal traffic spikes it just fell short. It has to be noted though that unlike other sites in the above list EZTV’s traffic doesn’t rely heavily on search engines such as Google or BitTorrent meta-search engines. EZTV currently has 30 million visitors a month and continues to expand.
Disclaimer: Yes, we know that Alexa isn’t perfect and that Compete has plenty of flaws, but combined both do a pretty good job at comparing sites that operate in a similar niche.