Google Instant is both retraining what users search for and how they find information, but the big issue is that censorship seems to play a larger role than many would like
The 2600.com has seen the humour in how overly active the new Google Instant censorship filter has been with their post “Words That Google Instant Doesn’t Like” and the 2600.com readers have taken time to find out exactly when the partial term or word will be censored by Google Instant.
I agree with 2600.com about the same issue that it shows that your content or what you find and view on Google can be very easily manipulated, filtered to suit and information may be suppressed. The Google blacklist is a great read with some very offensive terms obviously listed but a large number make it to their list with no apparently reason or questionable content linked to that term.
I do agree with a number of the terms suggested on the 2600 Google Blacklist should be reviewed to see if they even need to be indexed but a big solution is to disable these terms showing universal results that includes images/video. That solves the main problem with partial terms showing NFSW material and reduces the need for heavy-handed censorship. If people want or need to find information it should be available and since the Google Instant works on if you are signed into a Google Account it should be able to see that im over the age of 18 so should be mature enough to see nudity if I choose to search for it.
Google is changing your behaviour
The issue is that Google is changing user behaviour but it appears they are using broadmatch terms to block what they think you don’t want to see and it should not be Google’s decision that their ” autocomplete excludes certain terms related to pornography, violence and hate speech”. Taking a person’s right to make their own decisions away from them cannot be accepted and will not end well.
I have already covered what Google Instant means for AdWords so I have already got my head around understanding more about the possible ramifications to businesses or websites caught up in the Google Instant censorship I decided that I should work off the 2600 list and find out more about what was starting to be left out. I spent a fair amount of time today working their extensive lists of partial words which would active the Google Instant censorship and using MoreWords was able to find a whole lot of clean words that would also be filtered.
Words that start with…
The example of using More Words I was able find a good number of words starting with cocks that would be filtered out from Google Instant results based on 2600.com Google Blacklist. It also wouldn’t be that hard for Google engineers to also add exceptions to the algorithm that included places, businesses or plants & animals as these were the common key phrases that were blocked through false positives.
No instant results leads to no long-term traffic
A majority of the terms shown below were the top results which signify that the results are mostly clean and accurate and should not have been censored. It seems for a number of these businesses due to their brand name, location or similarity are being unfairly blocked from Google Instant results and these businesses are blocked once the partial word has been typed and most even when the full phrase is typed it still shows no results the results shown below were ONLY shown after Enter was hit. I have included a screenshot of the Google Instant search box to show that suggested results are also censored and no results are automatically shown for any of the terms when this article was written.
They are facing a possible complete loss of Google traffic due to the rollout of the censored Instant results and they mostly do not resemble the partial word which caused them to be blocked. I know not all of these terms are high traffic terms but a number of the companies that are blocked or censored should raise some concerns about the longer term implications for their business model if they no cannot be found easily by Google Instant users. The partial term or keyword that activates the Instant filter has been highlighted in red for each example to reinforce the simplicity of the censorship.
Censored Keyword: amateur athletic union
Amateur Athletic Union – The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer sports organizations in the United States
Censored Keyword: Bimbos
Bimbo’s 365 Club – A San Francisco institution since 1931, now featuring live rock and jazz.
Censored Keyword: booboo
Censored Keyword: butthole
Censored Keyword: butthole surfers
Butthole Surfers – Butthole Surfers is an American alternative rock band formed by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1981
Censored Keyword: Carol queen
Carol Queen – My own educational events are organized through Carol Queen Workshops and The Center for Sex and Culture, a non-profit sexuality education center
Censored Keyword: Cocksfoot Grass
Cocksfoot Grass – Dactylis glomerata, Orchard Grass, Cocksfoot or Cocksfoot Grass, is a common grass, native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
Censored Keyword: Cockspur
Cockspur – Produced in Barbados. Company website includes history, distributors, products, and promotions.
Censored Keyword: Cockspur Island
Cockspur Island – Cockspur Island is an island in the south channel of the Savannah River near Lazaretto Creek, northwest of Tybee Island, Georgia, USA
Censored Keyword: hedop
HEDOP – Hydrodynamic Effects on Design of Offshore Platforms
Censored Keyword: Hardcore
Hardcore Punk – Hardcore punk, is an underground music genre that originated in the late 1970s, following the mainstream success of punk rock. Hardcore is generally faster
Censored Keyword: Harcore
Harcore – “Har” is one half of “har har” which signifies laughing. “Core” is the middle, essence, or center of something. “Harcore” therefore was intended
Censored Keyword: Latina
Latina – Latina | The #1 lifestyle, entertainment, beauty and fashion site
Censored Keyword: Naked Juice
Naked Juice – Offers 100% juices and juice smoothies. Product details and company information.
Censored Keyword: Naked
Naked – Naked Communications Agency
Censored Keyword: Naked Communications
Naked Communications – We are communications consultants, uniquely objective.
Censored Keyword: Nude
NUDE – Hercules N.U.D.E. the New Users Documentation Effort. Mainframes – We are back…. & we are pissed. This is ongoing work in progress (hopefully),
nude – Nude Cafe (Suffolk Street), Dublin
Censored Keyword: Nude magazine
nude magazine – UK magazine of the strange and exotic things which exist at the margins of pop culture
Censored Keyword: Pantyhose
Pantyhose – Pantyhose (also called tights in the United Kingdom) are sheer, close-fitting legwear, covering the body from the waist to the feet
Pantyhose – Find hosiery by style, color, size, or brand, including Falke, Spanx, Donna Karan, DKNY, Hanes, and more. Get Fast, Free Shipping.
Pantyhose – Online shopping for Women’s Pantyhose from a great selection of Clothing & more at everyday low prices.
Pantyhose – Shop American Apparel – Our Opaque Pantyhose are a stylish and slimming accessory that enhance any outfit.
Censored Keyword: Rapeseed
Rapeseed – Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as rape, oilseed rape, rapa, rappi, rapaseed (and in the case of one particular group of cultivars, canola)
Rapeseed – Brassica napus Linnaeusï–known as rapeseed, rape, oilseed rape, and in some cultivars, Canolaï is a bright yellow flowering member of the Brassicacea
Censored Keyword: Scat
Scat – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to: navigation, search. Look up scat in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Contents. 1 Education; 2 Games
Scat Enterprises – As the VW market grew so did Scat and their volume of top quality VW performance products. Today Scat is the largest manufacturer of high performance VW
Scat Crankshafts – Home · About · News · Scat Tech · Product Questions · Scat Crank Anatomy · Scat Rod Anatomy · Scat VW · PROCAR by Scat
Censored Keyword: Seduced
Seduced – to lead astray usually by persuasion or false promises. 3. : to carry out the physical seduction of : entice to sexual intercourse
Seduced – tr.v. se·duced, se·duc·ing, se·duc·es. 1. To lead away from duty, accepted principles, or proper conduct. See Synonyms at lure
Seduced – Faust seducing Marguerite. Seduction is a popular motif in history and fiction, … Eve herself was verbally seduced by the serpent
Censored Keyword: Seduced by numbers
seduced by numbers – We are seduced by numbers. Sometimes if we hear the same statistic repeated over and over again, we believe it, even if it makes no sense
Censored Keyword: Suck
Suck – Directed by Rob Stefaniuk. Starring Jessica Paré, Paul Anthony, Mike Lobel. A comedy centered on a rock ‘n’ roll band that will do anything to become famous
Suck The Movie – Directed by Rob Stefaniuk. Starring Jessica Paré, Paul Anthony, Mike Lobel. A comedy centered on a rock ‘n’ roll band that will do anything to become famous
Censored Keyword: Suckfish
Suckfish – suck·fish (s k f sh ). n. pl. suckfish or suck·fish·es. 1. See remora. 2. A clingfish (Caularchus maendricus) of the Pacific coast of the United States
Suckfish – Suckfish is the debut LP by Audion, an alias of Matthew Dear. It was generally well-received by critics, with a score of 80/100 on Metacritic
Censored Keyword: Suckless
Suckless – suckless.org Dedicated to software that sucks less · home/ · code · download · man/ ·dwm/ · libs/ · st/ · stali/ · surf/ · tools/ · wmii/ · wmi/
Censored Keyword: Teen
Teen – Want to know who the hot Hollywood newcomers are? Teenmag has the scoop on the next big stars!
Teen – Video destination for original webisodes, celebrity interviews, exclusive performances, skateboard tricks videos, on-the-street style, teen.com.
Censored Keyword: Teen Vogue
Teen Vogue – TeenVogue.com is your source for teen celebrities, fashion, style, hair, and makeup trends. The online home of Teen Vogue magazine.
Censored Keyword: Teen Health
Teen Health – TeensHealth offers a safe, private place to get information about health, growth, and emotions. We give you the doctor-approved info you need to understand
Teen Health – Ask questions on teen health and receive personalized answers that address your health questions as a teenager. Also features health tips for teens and
Teen Health – Directory of health related resources concentrated on the health of teens.
Censored Keyword: Twinkie
Twinkie – Twinkies are an American snack cake made and distributed by Hostess Brands. They are marketed as a “Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling”
Hostess Cakes – One of America’s best known and most loved snack cakes, Twinkies have been tantalizing taste buds and filling lunch boxes since 1930. Twinkies are the stuff
Twinkies Project – Featuring a variety of scientific experiments on this popular snack food.
Google censors if you overtype some branded terms
Censored Keyword: Dick‘s Sporting Goods
Dick’s Sporting Goods – Shop Dick’s Sporting Goods for the finest quality products at competitive prices, backed by the best service anywhere
Google censors until a majority of the phrase is typed
Censored Keywords: Latina St
Latina Style Magazine – LATINA Style Magazine is the first national Hispanic magazine to address the concerns of the contemporary Latina working women in the United States.
So its very interesting how using what appears to be very broad or general keywords seems to compound the issue of what happens with information is censored, while most people don’t need to see animal porn or explicit acts during their daily searches. Google Instant censorship filters does show the true reach that Google has into how you find and gather information online has shown deep concern for the future of freedom of speech and transparency around what it wants to be shown.
What can you discover when not logged in?
(i did notice that the search query url for “Twinkie” had a secondary query term oq=twink appened to the URL which did not match any of my previous queries or partial match terms. You can see the full search query shown when using Google Instant from a different browser.
Getting the Wikipedia definition “a Twink or twinkie is a gay slang term describing a young or young-looking gay man (in his late teens or early twenties) with a slender build”. So the question is where did the extra search query string &oq=Twink come from?
Is Google Instant Homophobic?
Some of the terms were re-tested on a browser not signed in as Google seems to be tweaking the terms listed by 2600.com already, so is google assuming possible base terms and then actively filtering them out, but tracking them? Or the bigger concern looking at some of the many terms censored on the list is google homophobic censoring search results for terms like lesbian, licked, gay man, gay men, gay sex, anus, anal. The list of keywords and phrases that Google has censored continues to grow at 2600.com and you are able to view the entire Google Blacklist, and you will be shocked at what is not yet included on the censorship list which is also listed at 2600.com.
- Carol Queen
- Butthole Surfers (Band)
- Booboo TV network
- Bimbo’s 365 Club
Any organisation or charity with amateur in their name
- Naked Communications
- Naked Group
- Naked Juice
- Nude Cafe
- Nude Skin Care
- Nude Magazine
- Scat Enterprises
- Scat Crankshafts
- Teen Vogue
- Hostess Cakes
- Latina Style Magazine
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Rapeseed products
- Suckless vaccumm cleaners
- Sex Toys
- Dicks (Richard)
Google is retraining its users search behaviour
Even some of the very hardcore terms are still indexed by Google and many of the terms censored from Google Instant are still displaying Google AdWords when you hit enter to see the censored results. There are appears to be a full move towards trying to emulate Apple in visually hiding the terms they might not want people to see, Google is not yet de-indexing them but maybe that’s only a matter of time? As you can see there are a few major issues with this as this new Instant search function will start to adjust users behaviour so they might start to see a blank screen and accept there is no suitable results and give up or try a different term/brand/keyword.
Google is effectively able to retrain users not to use keywords by not rewarding them with quick results a sweet or sour option for consumers and best of luck to those businesses/brands caught in the false positive trap as you see even the biggest players are at the mercy of Google Instant.