We've noted in the past that various copyright maximalists who are hellbent on blaming Google for their own failures to adapt and innovate, like to point to various searches on Google that point to what are likely to be unauthorized sources. They'll use examples
like adding "download" or "free" to a search and then point out that the link appears to go to an unauthorized source. But that's silly, because (1) the people doing such searches probably aren't going to pay for the authorized version anyway and (2) very few people do those searches.
Chris Crum over at WebProNews has a story that's been getting some attention claiming that Google points to an unauthorized site ahead of Netflix if you do a search for "watch house of cards"
on Google. Here's the screenshot he's showing:
While that may sound damning, it only matters if people are actually doing that search. But they're not. Most people are just searching for plain old "house of cards" as you can see by looking at the Google Trends searches on both terms:
The red line is people searching for "house of cards." The blue line that is basically across the bottom is "watch house of cards." In other words, this search that Crum and others are making out to be some evidence of Google "favoring" unauthorized sites over the official Netflix channel is a search that almost no one uses. The one that everyone does use -- "house of cards" -- doesn't appear to show any links to unauthorized sites.
You could argue that perhaps Netflix should do a bit more optimizing on searches for shows with "watch" before them, but given the fact that it appears almost no one does that search, why should they bother?