Addicted to novelty since 2001

Bounteous Google

Welcome Fleshbot readers! You’ll want to jump down to here for the dirty stuff.

Like manna from Heaven, Google continues to bestow useful gifts on the masses. As Slashdot, Fast Company (calling it ‘predictive Web searching’) and everybody else has noted, Google has a new search service called Google Suggest:

As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you’re typing and offers suggestions in real time. This is similar to Google’s “Did you mean?” feature that offers alternative spellings for your query after you search, except that it works in real time. For example, if you type “bass,” Google Suggest might offer a list of refinements that include “bass fishing” or “bass guitar.” Similarly, if you type in only part of a word, like “progr,” Google Suggest might offer you refinements like “programming,” “programming languages,” “progesterone,” or “progressive.”

Very interesting. I’m going to have to play around with it to see if it’s actually useful. Not to toot my own horn, but (like many Internet power users) my Google kung fu is pretty strong. Still, this might help. I just looked for a typical search in my browser history. Now, when I start to search for “the Christmas song dave matthews lyrics”, I can get as far as “the Christmas song dave” and choose from the available options.

Not a vast improvement, especially given that I sue use the Firefox address bar for most of my searches, but a nifty innovation nonetheless.

UPDATE: Here’s a list of what Google Suggest, uh, suggests for each letter of the alphabet. A is for Amazon, B is for Best Buy, etc. Distressingly, P is for Paris Hilton.

Google appears to have pulled an MSN Spaces and excised a lot of ‘questionable data’ from this product. For example, it won’t suggest ‘porn’, nor will it suggest any of the likely combinations of the term ‘teen’. Here are some other words it refuses to predict on (a whole lot of dirty words ahead):

oral
anal
anus
fuck
pornography
masturbate (though masturbese is in)
asshole (though assholic and asstastic are in)
sex
beastiality
humping (though hump is in)
penis
vagina
lesbian (though dyke is in)
homosexual
naked
nude

Those are out, but the following are in:

shit
defecate
semen
wanker
golden shower
crap (not to mention crappy website)
bullocks
engorged
gay self suck (but gay sex is out)
felching
testicle
herpes
intercourse
how to give a blow job (and sundry other provocative gifts)

That was fun. Obviously, you can search for any term–Google just won’t predict the first list for you. In a typically American approach to censorship, there are not restrictions on racist or violent terminology. ‘KKK’, ‘snuff’, ‘torture’ and ‘bum fights’ are all in (as they should be). But we can’t be predicting filthy terms like ‘oral exam’ or ‘sex education’, can we?

I checked the Advanced settings for Google Suggest, and my SafeSearch was turned off (set to ‘no filtering’). Either it’s a bug, and Google Suggest isn’t reading this setting, or Google Suggest won’t suggest these terms, regardless of my SafeSearch setting.

9 Responses to “Bounteous Google”

  1. adriana

    You sue firefox on a regular basis then? Fascinating!

    -sorry couldn’t resist.

  2. filmgoerjuan

    Just to note, you will get results for “pr0n” (a lot of results, too). I guess Google doesn’t filter hax0r.

  3. The Lone Banana

    Minor quibble: “bullocks” are castrated bulls; there’s no real reason why they’d be dirty. “Bollocks” is Brit for “testicles”.

  4. Ross Thomas

    Bullocks are filthy, filthy creatures. (Though “bollocks” also means “bullshit,” so we come full circle. Except, that is, when it’s used in “the dog’s bollocks,” which means “the shiznit,” “da bomb,” or “eminently desirable.”)

  5. jotsheet

    Google’s take on AutoComplete: Google Suggest

    Following Yahoo! Mail’s recently implemented AutoComplete feature, Google has introduced a neat new item called Google Suggest. In real-time, it automatically suggests phrases that match the characters you’ve already typed into the search input field. …

  6. cheap_as_a_ho

    What! No Ho’s either! Or cheap ho’s or ho ho ho’s… what is Father Chrismas to do? However “peeps” are in. So mee peeps ‘ant take our ho’s to see father Xmas 4 ere aint no ho ho ho(s)! For shame, for shame!

  7. anon

    There are no suggestions for searches containing the word porn, but there are many for pr0n and other variations that aren’t on the blacklist. Although pr0n (with a zero) is allowed, pron is on the blacklist, which has the unfortunate side affect of making it impossible to lookup suggestions for searches containing any words that include pron such as apron, mispronunciation, pronunciation, prone, and so on. Other blocked words or word fragments as of December 2004 include adult, anus, asshole, balls, bdsm, bestia, bitch, blowjob, bondage, bugger, bukkake, cock, clit, cum, cunnilingus, cunt, dildo, dong, erotic, fellatio, fisting, fuck, gangbang, hentai, jizz, labia, lesbian, lesbo, libido, lolita, masturba, naked, oral, orgy, penetratio, penis, pervert, pimp, piss, pussy, rape, sex (including words containing sex, such as essex), slut, smut, stripper, striptease, tits, tranny, twat, twink, vagina, vibrator, wanking, whore, and the number 69. Actual searches for all of these terms do yield results; the autocomplete suggestion service simply will not suggest any searches containing the terms. Interestingly, unlike pron and sex, the word ass is only blocked when it appears with a space after it, so words containing ass such as associated are not blocked. Also, although Google made the unprecedented decision to block the word lesbian, they do not block suggestions for searches containing the word faggot, or nigger, or the word shit, or several other words that are often included on profanity blacklists.

    This text was copied from a previous version of the article at http://wikipedia.org/Google (which has since been edited to not include the list of blocked words).

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