Sites that feature links to illegal videos optimize for the keyword “links” and users that seek such videos have learned to search for “links.” Generally, providers of legal content are not trying to land in searches for links; they are trying to land in searches for the word “videos.” So searching Google for a popular TV show such as NCIS followed by the words “free links” returns sites that feature links to pirated copies of the TV show.
Clicking on one of these Google links, such as TV-Links.com, returns a well-designed Web page featuring advertising from the likes of American Express and Hertz via retargeting ad networks such as Chango.
The page also features links to the latest NCIS episodes that are illegally hosted on download sites. Each link has a rating so that visitors will know when a file is no longer available due to a DCMA takedown. As there are numerous links available on numerous download sites, there is generally always an illegal copy available for viewing.