Google suggestions

Prolific Tweeter @Stephen Fry tweeted a link to the Google Blacklist. It’s supposedly a list of words where Google does not suggest the rest of the search in order to avoid offending anybody.  It relates to Google Instant which works by anticipating your search as you type each letter and giving the remainder of potential phrases to you as a possible link.  From processing 400 million queries per day, it usually has a pretty good idea of what you could be after.

Going through the list is slightly amusing.  But perhaps it’s more alarming how much time people have devoted to searching on rude words to work out if Google will keep quiet on the subject matter or not.

I thought it was interesting to also see Google take quite an innocent search into a totally inappropriate direction.
Earlier in the week I wanted to know if hummus (the Middle Eastern chick pea foodstuff) was healthy.  That was before I knew how to spell hummus.
Typing just “Is homo” to search on threw up 10 queries about homosexuality I never considered.

Some time ago I also found that typing a simple “How to” into Google would have some strange suggestions around -making babies -french kiss, and so on.. but checking this out now, it seems they’ve vetted the suggestions more sensibly.