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Googles adult filter is widely regarded as one of the most lax in the search engine business. Pages that are perfectly acceptable in Google are routinely blocked by AskJeeves, Inktomi, and Altavista. If anything is the case here, Google is too lax in allowing some pages to remain visible while the adult filter is turned on.
Just last week some fellow webmasters were pointing potential adult content showing under innocoguous keywords.
From the report:
Google might also inform webmasters as to steps they can take to assist with the proper categorization of their content.
Simply not possible. It would only give those that would subvert the system, clues as to how to do it. One should remember the historical inncidents where standard searches on Altavista revealed adult content. That was done with full knowledge of the system.
Just two weeks ago I was on the phone with a service that provides paid inclusion to search engines. The issue at hand was that a few pages were being rejected for adult content. Those same pages walked right into the Google index without a problem. It is clear to most in the sem business, that Google's adult filter is not only the best available, it may even be too lax at times.
But it makes for great reports, and gives college kids with too much leisure time something to do.
It should be noted that Harvard has several graduates that are very high profile in this business and would stand to benefit from such a report. AskJeeves has Harvard Alumni on it's staff in mission critical positions. I do feel Harvard would be above such a conflict of interest, but not to note that fact in the report is an oversight.
Matt Cutts, author of Googles SafeSearch, will be a featured speaker at WebmasterWorlds marketing conference [webmasterworld.com] in Boston in two weeks. Additionally, Paul Gardi - a Harvard Alumi and Senior Vice President of Search for AskJeeves/Teoma, will also be speaking.
Thanks for the second pair of eyes, jdMorgan. Okay, so that robots.txt says "no spiders." But I see a couple major search engines actually showing crawled content from www.aclin.org? Maybe I was just up too late last night and I'm confused, but if some search engines aren't abiding by robots.txt that would concern me more than SafeSearch.
Why? Most people wouldn't want censored results, and many may not know how to override the defaults. And, all people see is a list of SERPs. Really, if "<snip - adult terms>" for a page title is something that doesn't interest someone, nobody is forcing them to click that link.
[edited by: NFFC at 6:10 am (utc) on April 11, 2003]
[edit reason] Trying to keep off the filter ;) [/edit]
I do. I don't want to see adult sites. And outside of some webmasters I don't know one single person who does - particularly accidentally. If ladies are shopping for items for children with appropriate search terms they are not happy if they accidentally stumble upon fetishes and photographs.
>>In practice, there's lots of reasons that Google might not have the content of the page.
GoogleGuy, even if Google doesn't have the contents of a page, if it's listed in the Google Directory in a clearly adult category - Mature Content- with the category right there on the page with the site's listing, it shouldn't be coming up for that search. It plainly says on the page that you have to be 18 years of age to view it and be open minded.
The judgement was made about the content by human review when it was included by the editor at ODP. That just seems to be a slip-up with the directory. IMO anything that's listed in the Mature Content category should automatically qualify for exclusion if filters are on.
It's been a very, very rare thing to see a slip like that. I just happen to see that one sitting out there all the time when I check the category - and it's been in the cache all along.
I would like to see Google err on the side of caution with regards to safe search. I've said it before, misspellings should kick the filter in regardless of preferences.
Oh, give me a freaking break. Like dad can't recognize an obvious porn site from looking at the SERPs? Seriously. How many times have you clicked on a link in a SERP with the title "wholesome family entertainment" and landed on a hard core porn site?
The Internet is NOT a playground for children....
You may wish that were so but I have to tell you that every child I know (and I know a few having three of my own) thinks the internet is a great playground. As a result they use it constantly for everything you would expect from homework assignments to sports news, gaming to music, fan clubs to TV schedules etc. etc. In fact they probably make more use of it than their parents.
Of course it is the responsibility of parents, schools etc., to ensure that they do not have access to material that is obviously inappropriate for their age.
At some stage they learn to circumnavigate filtering software and this is probably an indication that they are intellectually old enough to handle the consequences.
In my computing career I have always allowed simple statistics to determine what the default functionality should be. In this case it seems quite obvious to me that the Google default should be 'adult filter on'. In practise of course it doesn't matter most of the time because those providing access to children require something much more sophisticated than a toggle on a website.
I also have to agree with rfgdxm1, in that 99% of the time, you will be able to recognize such a page from the SERPs; and if in doubt DON'T click. ;)