I agree with that, but don’t underestimate the almost zero cost of creating search engine spam.
I think you and @TylerAbeoJordan are focusing only on the pro’s of the approach and not considering the impact of SE spammers being very profit centered.
I agree with that side of your reasoning, but I also consider the con’s, and that is since there are no ads to compete for screen space and the cost of creating content is very low, that makes the platform very attractive to spammers.
Do you remember those shitty “news aggregation sites” (robo-scrapers) that back in 2005 or thereabout were ranking at the very top of Google search results?
Even as recently as last April (last time I bothered to check) I know for a fact that a site that used to show my Web site content pulled via RSS feeds used to rank 2-3 pages (not positions) higher than my own content. (If anyone’s curious about this: I didn’t bother to figure that out, but I remember around that time many people were complaining about that Google Search was about to start rewarding copies of content that appear sooner, and penalize those that appear later - I don’t know if they implemented and what’s the current approach).
Once you get some good content (basically for free), all you need to do is pepper the site with crappy ads and channel a small part of that revenue to your “faithful reviewers”.
I think we should consider how torrent search engines - rather than Google - function today:
- People usually don’t care who’s who, they just search, compare Thumbs Up vs. Thumbs Down and click on top results
- The good stuff raises to the top, but almost nobody makes any money (including those who produced the content that’s being copied)
- User doesn’t visit the site he download the torrent file from, or any other site except the torrent search portal
That works fine and it’s based on user feedback/reviews, but it’s a virtual economy of takers. Pennies can be made by a tiny percentage of farmer nodes and the search site makes money from ads. I’m not sure how that decentralizes profit. There is no profit to be had, and 99% lands into the pocket of the portal site.
Regardless of what we think about the legality and morality of content copying, it seems obvious to me that the platform that has a lower cost would win, so if you think artists could somehow live off tips, why are they not prospering now (since Torrenters are externalizing 100% of their cost of infrastructure) and why would they be better off on the SAFE network?
I hope you guys are right, but it seems to me we need to pay a bit more attention to the downsides too, at least in the near and mid term (until the ecosystem matures and comes up with some complementary solutions).