According to a recent article at Torrent Freak, Google’s link removal department had a very busy year in 2014, receiving removal requests for over 345 million links this year with the majority of the links coming Google Pirate affected sites like 4shared.com, rapidgator.net and uploaded.net.
Last October Google released an update to their anti-piracy filter Pirate; the algorithm which uses DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notices to identify and penalized potential pirate sites, was finally updated after two years in dry dock. The first time Google’s filter sailed the high seas of the Internet it laid the smack-down on over 51 million sites. With the advanced warning and an opportunity for sites to get out from under the penalty, many webmasters and SEOs used the opportunity to clean house and remove questionable links from their domains.
Of course the best way to avoid getting a Pirate penalty is to make sure you know the copyright of all the media on your site, and not to link out to media from sketchy sources.