Now, that’s weird. As I’ve reported before, one of the top sources of ongoing traffic is Google image searches for “tea”; the pretty picture from Tea is the #1 match. Only, sometimes not. It turns out that if you turn SafeSearch off, as in “Yeah Google, it’s OK to show me the most appalling filth if you find it”, well, my little red teapot vanishes from the results page. Turn SafeSearch back to “Moderate” and there it is. Is my composition regarded as so chaste that it must be kept away from pages where Sex Might Happen? Granted that there is no naked flesh, but the pot and the cup are both kind of curvy. Life is full of mysteries.



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From: Sander (Mar 07 2007, at 23:35)

Heh, I'm a first page (nr 10, last time I looked) image search result for "Sauron", so I'm going to have to try this too. Don't think I quite want to risk finding out what non-safe image results for sauron might look like while at work, though. :P *glares at the long day ahead of him*

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From: John Ward (Mar 08 2007, at 00:50)

Might have something to do with the occasional use of bad language.

http://www.google.com/search?q=fuck+site%3Atbray.org

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From: Mark (Mar 08 2007, at 07:08)

> inventory

You have:

a splitting headache

no tea

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From: DeanG (Mar 08 2007, at 08:31)

Curves?? Look at the gutter on the other side of the street: What do you expect with such blatant references to "pot", "leaves" and the amphetamine characteristics of tea? ;-)

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From: Sander (Mar 08 2007, at 11:58)

Heh, so, as a followup, my Sauron image, which currently (for me) is the 6th result on a regular image search, becomes number 1 in a non-safe image search. And all the other results change place, too, although there's only one or two new ones on the first page. How totally bizarre to see all completely harmless images moving about like that.

Strict safesearch shows much larger differences, removing my image completely (?) alongside a whole lot of other ones, but I guess that's just an understandable result of someone writing a swearword somewhere on a page linking to the image (has to be on a linking page, as the full image itself is only displayed on a page nearly devoid of text). That's kinda scary, though, if that's really true. Hypothesize a children's site relying on image search for a lot of its visitors, with a lot of those children on computers with strict safesearch turned on. Now imagine a competitor setting up a domain with a lot of swearwords and links to those images. Poof!

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From: MikeD (Mar 08 2007, at 14:02)

Looks like a blatant Googlebug to me :)

The only explanation I can think of is that the indexes for safe search and non-safe search are kept on different machines and/or compiled separately from one another. So they may simply be out of synch with one another temporarily. Will be interesting to check back in a few days. Apart from your tea image, image number nine is also completely missing from the returned results (even in subsequent pages). And it's not like the results are being swamped by previously excluded pornographic images of tea :)

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author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
March 07, 2007
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