uTorrent – the client of choice for most BitTorrent users – has added a Google powered torrent search engine to its website. This added search capability uses Google’s custom search program and prioritizes BitTorrent sites in the results. With millions of visitors a month, this is likely to bring in some additional revenue for BitTorrent Inc.
Many visitors to the uTorrent website are relatively new to BitTorrent, and a proportion of these are clueless as to where they should start looking for .torrent files. For this group the new torrent search box on the uTorrent homepage might come in handy. On the other hand, for BitTorrent Inc. it will generate some welcome additional revenue in troubling times.
While the added search is not a particular good way to find torrents, its addition to the site is an interesting move by BitTorrent Inc. Not so long ago, uTorrent removed the search boxes to sites like Mininova and isoHunt from their client, as per requests from copyright holders. However, since BitTorrent Inc. closed its video store, there is now no need to please Hollywood and they are free to link to torrent sites again.
Last December we reported that BitTorrent.com added a torrent search engine that works with Ask.com, and uTorrent.com now follows with a Google powered search engine. Neither site hosts any files, they simply act as a meta-search engine. Below is an example of a search for aXXo on uTorrent. Ironically, the Google ad that appears here links to a uTorrent scam site.
aXXo on uTorrent with an ad for a scam
Google-powered search engines are nothing new, though. There are a few dozen sites that use Google’s coop program, such as TorrentScoop. All these sites display ads from Google’s Adsense program, ads that are not allowed on ‘regular’ torrent sites because they would violate Google’s terms of service. In fact, a few weeks ago isoHunt lost their Google ad feed which ran through Ask because some advertisers complained.
Double standard or not, the search engine on uTorrent’s homepage is bound to get some decent traffic. Let’s hope that they will keep an eye on the scammy ads though, we know from experience that it requires continuous attention.