The Pirate Bay, YouTube-DL And More 'Removed' From DuckDuckGo Search Results, Reinstated After Report

Chris Menahan
Apr. 17, 2022

DuckDuckGo on Friday was found to have "removed" The Pirate Bay, 1337x, YouTube-DL and other "pirate" sites from their search results.

"Privacy-centered search engine DuckDuckGo has completely removed the search results for many popular pirates sites including The Pirate Bay, 1337x, and Fmovies. Several YouTube ripping services have disappeared, too and even the homepage of the open-source software youtube-mp3 is unfindable," TorrentFreak reported.
When doing some research earlier today we noticed that several popular pirate sites were no longer showing up in DuckDuckGo's results globally. Initially, we thought that some popular pages had been removed following DMCA takedown notices, but there is clearly more going on than that.

For example, searching for "" is supposed to return all results DuckDuckGo has indexed for The Pirate Bay’s main domain name. In this case, there are none.

The lack of results is not tied to a specific country and manually fiddling with the region settings didn't change anything either. Apparently, DuckDuckgo has simply removed all URLs from its index.

This whole-site removal isn't limited to The Pirate Bay either. When we do similar searches for,,,, and, no results appear. For and Fitgirl-repacks we only get one result, instead of the hundreds of thousands we see on other search engines.

The absence of results doesn't only apply to pirate sites themselves. For example, there are no results for the streaming portals Flixtor and Primewire. In addition, the associated status pages, which merely include links to the official domains, are not indexed either.

Even several popular stream-rippers have been completely wiped from the search results. That includes,, and several others.

The most surprising omission, by far, is that the official site for the open-source software youtube-dl is not indexed by DuckDuckGo. This site certainly doesn't host or link to any copyright-infringing material.
DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg denied "purging" search results on Sunday and blamed unspecified "issues" with the "site:" operator for the sites disappearing.

"Before publishing the article we searched for YouTube-dl and The Pirate Bay without the 'site:' operator the official domains were not showing up at our end," TorrentFreak reported. "They do now."

"DuckDuckGo's statement below seems to contradict our initial findings, however."

I did the exact same searches on Friday, both with the "site:" operator and without, and can confirm results on both were purged. I also searched "The Pirate Bay" on Google after reading TorrentFreak's report and found their official site with its .org domain as the first result. I found it funny at the time that DuckDuckGo results were literally more censored than Google's.

The reason is almost certainly because DuckDuckGo simply indexes Bing search results and Microsoft appears to have recently purged all of the above sites from Bing.

Weinberg seems to really not want people to know his search engine is largely just an indexing of Bing search results. I wonder why? I'm sure he knows it would be terrible PR but part of me also wonders if the investors he recently raised $100 million off are aware of how dependent DDG seems to be on Bing.

"His" decision to down-rank websites he claimed were "associated with Russian disinformation" came only after Bing decided to do the same.

DuckDuckGo not only gets most of their search results from Bing but Weinberg told the New York Times last month that his company is also now operating as a snitch for Bing.

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