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The Messianic Character of Google Instant

As many in the industry have been doing, I’ve been exercising Google’s SafeSearch feature in concert with Google Instant to see what’s suggested and what’s not (many bloggers dream of finding some terrible results – always makes for a good linkbait article).  I have to say, for most words one would expect, Google Instant is doing a pretty decent job.

However, I tried searching on “google is e” (thinking “evil” results would come up) and got no suggestion.  Not only were there no suggested alternatives, the entire search result page went blank:


I then tried every letter of the alphabet – they all returned instant results.

Then I tried “george bush is e”, “britney spears is e”, etc. – no instant results.

For whatever reason, Google Instant seems to have miraculously eradicated “evil” from the world (!)

This seems like a slippery slope on Google’s part, if some sort of override was put in driven by possible libel concerns, eradicating such results seem like an impossible task.  Or are they perhaps using some sort of automated sentiment analysis?  It doesn’t seem so; various people for example are still apparently “an idiot” (for […is an i]), and surprisingly some are “satan” (for […is s]) as well as many other negative phrases.

Has anyone noticed any other non-SafeSearch oriented self-censoring in Google Instant?  Please limit any examples to words which are clearly not obvious SafeSearch examples, and keep it clean – thanks.

About Ted Ives

Ted Ives joined The Search Agency in mid 2008 and is responsible for its wide array of product and services offerings, including the agency's proprietary AdMax™ bid optimization platform. Ted previously worked for technology companies ranging through every layer of the information technology stack including APC, National Semiconductor, Apple and Microsoft. He brings great depth in product management as well as product marketing across multiple business platforms and in various types of technologies. Ted currently serves on the board of directors of FindHow, a how-to search engine startup which he co-founded in 2007. He has a degree in Computer Science and Economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA with a focus on technology marketing from Santa Clara University.