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Google instant blacklisted words revealed

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’ve visited Google recently you will have notice a change in their search functionality. Now when you type in a search term you will generally see the results of that search dynamically generated as you type. Google Instant makes searching easier and more intuitive without ever having to click the search button.

There’s only one issue: Google Instant has blacklisted a variety of terms, largely sexual, that it will not dynamically generate searches for. In those cases users have to click on the search button to see their results.

This was reported by 2600, which compiled a user generated list of blacklisted search terms.

Oddly there are a great deal of inconsistencies on the list:  “lesbian” is blocked, but “gay” is not. “Cocaine” and “domination” are also blocked, but Google is cool with “crack” and “heroin”.

As PC Magazine reported, Google acknowledges the issue:

“It’s important to note that removing queries from autocomplete is a hard problem, and not as simple as blacklisting particular terms and phrases,” a Google spokesperson told PC Magazine. “In search, we get more than one billion searches each day. Because of this, we take an algorithmic approach to removals, and just like our search algorithms, these are imperfect.”

Laura Khalil
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Laura is a tech reporter for Digital Trends, the editor of Dorkbyte and a science blogger for PBS. She's been named one of…
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