Another Insulting Algorithmic Search Result from Google

Jul 10, 2008 • 5:57 pm | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Today we have Google ranking a swastika on Google Trends due to a Google's "machines and algorithms." And now we have Google offering a related search phrase for a Google images search on special people. The related search displayed is "retards." Here is an image:

Google Retard

Yes, I know related searches are based on algorithms of how people use Google, but some (those who don't know how search engines work) might be really insulted by this interpretation of [special people].

Google has actually instituted fresher and more frequent related searches, so maybe this is why it is showing up.

I do not blame Google for showing this result, I do however blame Google for not placing a quick link to what "related searches" are - so that the average searcher would click it, read it, and then possibly understand.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Roundtable Forums and hat tip.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: July 10, 2008


Linda Bustos

07/10/2008 11:10 pm

I agree about the link to how related searches are determined. Otherwise this could me mistaken as an insensitive, cruel joke by Google insiders, or a really poor search algorithm.


07/10/2008 11:39 pm

Here here. Its incumbent upon Google to sanitise our languages according to their own sense of what is and is not offensive. At the very least I agree that every suggested search term should be accompanied by a comprehensive etymological justification.


07/10/2008 11:42 pm

Last I checked saying someone is mentally or physically retarted is politically correct just as calling someone a special person is.

Amaan Goyal

07/11/2008 05:50 am

I agree about the link to how related searches are determined. to some it may be seem to be insensitive while some may term it politically correct.

Duarte Canario

07/11/2008 08:00 am

Maybe a George Carlin follower could create a "Seven Words you can't use on the Internet"


07/11/2008 12:45 pm

dont make google filter results offensive, political, etc. let them find it. Those who are offended need to chill.


07/11/2008 01:33 pm

I always find myself annoyed, having wasted my time reading non-news posts like this one here on Search Engine Roundtable.

Barry Schwartz

07/11/2008 02:07 pm

Sorry Rob. Can't please everyone.

Tamar Weinberg

07/11/2008 02:28 pm

Rob, nobody's forcing you to read content you don't want to read. It looks like it garnered a good discussion before you came in and spoiled the party, though.

Kris Keimig

07/12/2008 06:13 pm

Wish comments had kept coming... while it may not be "news" it is an interesting/important discussion as the semantic web becomes more of a reality (as searchers and marketers). Personally, I am not offended by the 'related searches' b/c [technically] it IS a related search... and the reason this is showing up is b/c our search patterns say so. Search (imo) does not exist to bring you back the information you are comfortable... and suggesting that is should means that you altering SERPs based on feelings or personal judgment. Which ultimately can only lead to biased/filtered SERPs (which is essentially a small form of censorship).

hendra leonar

07/18/2008 09:32 am

sometimes this could be useful, common peoples usually belieave that as the best choice serach by google, and it has a big chance to be clicked by the peoples at the first.

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