Image search algorithm has been updated recently by Google. The key point is that Google, with this update, has made it hard for the porn seekers to find out “porn” results.
Although Google doesn’t explicitly say that this update was done to target or shave off adult/porn results from search, it seems it is indeed the case.
It seems that this update of Google is more sort of Google personalized search where search results are displayed based on a persons personal preferences and his/her search click-through history.
Similarly this update of Google will now only display explicit images to persons who “want” or “opt” to have them! Sounds pretty interesting. This eliminates the accidental appearance of explicit images for random image search and the accompanied embarrassment, especially when doing an image search at work place or other public places!
With this new image search algorithm, if you intentionally want porn related links to come up in your search results, you need to add accompanying search terms like “porn” or “adult” or “nude”. This is how image search works now, even if the Safe Search option is turned off.
Here is an example of the results returned in Google image search for the term “doggy” with SafeSearch “Moderated” and “Off”.
Earlier the user had the control over how much explicit content is allowed in the SERPs they see.
A good percent of the users are actually not happy with this algo update by Google. They find it comfortable to adjust the settings themselves and actually don’t want Google to play on top of them! While some totally welcome this idea.
There are also some angry Google users who have commented (at various forums and blogs while discussing about this image search algo update) that Google is exercising a search censorship while they claim to fight Chinese and other Governments’ attempts on censoring search results – adding that they’d better move to Yahoo or Bing.
Even more, most users have commented explicitly that Google is exercising “communism” and that they “want porn back”.
However, in a statement given to Cnet Google clearly states the following:
We are not censoring any adult content, and want to show users exactly what they are looking for — but we aim not to show sexually-explicit results unless a user is specifically searching for them. We use algorithms to select the most relevant results for a given query. If you’re looking for adult content, you can find it without having to change the default setting — you just may need to be more explicit in your query if your search terms are potentially ambiguous. The image search settings now work the same way as in Web search.
Users have to simply “work hard” to get to see real porn in image searches now – I mean they simply have to tell Google explicitly by using some of those “explicit” keywords while searching for those kinda images.