At the start of 2009, NowTorrents was a relatively small torrent search engine with 30,000 visitors a day.
In the months that followed its traffic exploded and the site soon settled itself among the ten most popular torrent sites, with more than a million unique visitors a day.
NowTorrents attributed its success mostly to Google. The owner had spent a lot of effort in optimizing the site for search engines and this certainly paid off, as 90% of the visitors came through the search mogul. But two weeks ago, everything changed. Suddenly the traffic wave from Google was reduced to a trickle, causing the number of visitors to plunge.
NowTorrents’ founder told TorrentFreak that he tried to contact Google about the issue, but the company said it couldn’t comment on the rankings of search results. It’s clear that the site has not been removed from Google, as all of its pages remained indexed. However, NowTorrents pages do show up much lower in the search results, an indication that Google may have penalized the site.
It is not unlikely that Google decided to downgrade NowTorrents because it was a little ‘too well’ optimized, so to speak. Google has been known to punish sites that try to artificially inflate their search rankings. Although the site’s founder is not aware of anything that might have upset Google, the traffic drop was irreversible.
Google ‘Penalized” Nowtorrents
For the site’s founder there was no other option than to start over from scratch. In fact, he took the opportunity to relaunch the site under a new name, hoping to get back some of the Google juice. He was already working on a new version of the site, so the timing couldn’t have been better.
The new and improved NowTorrents has been renamed to TorrentFly today, and regular visitors will notice quite a few changes to the site’s layout and search functionality.
One of the new features is that members can not only can pick which sites TorrentFly should search, but also in what order the results should appear. Another advantage for members is that they won’t see any advertising.
“Aside from the layout change and added features, TorrentFly has a ton of minor changes and improvements to the backend, which should result in better and faster search results,” the site’s founder told TorrentFreak.
Indeed, the search results on TorrentFly appear within a few milliseconds and the changes to the site are a step in the right direction. Now all TorrentFly can hope for is that Google stays friendly.