If most people simply want to do the right thing when it comes to downloading, the upcoming Copyright Alert System could help more than searching at Google. Over three months after Google implemented a system to lower the search ranking of domains based on the number of DMCA takedown requests received, Billboard.biz finds legal options are still buried in the search results for many popular artists.
Billboard.biz took a sample of 30 popular artists and used a standard query of the artist name plus the term “MP3” in Google’s search engine to gauge where legal and illegal sites ranked in the search results. For two artists, Ke$ha and P!nk, alternative spellings were also used. In all, 32 searches were conducted.
The average rank of the first legal result of any kind was 7.9 – which would place the average item near the bottom of the first page. The first legal result was almost always a YouTube video. Occasionally it was an embedded stream, such as a SoundCloud widget in a music blog.
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