If you do a search in Google or Bing for [adam and eve] or [jack and jill], both very G rated phrases that also have very X rated companies behind it, you will get mixed results. On the Google Search organic results, by default, the sex toy companies websites are filtered out by SafeSearch. But the Google Ads, by default, show ads to those sex toy company brands.
I know this is a sensitive topic and the views on this are pretty widespread but let me lay those views out…
Clearly, both Google and Bing’s free organic results has a policy to filter out the adult oriented sites for a search on either [adam and eve] or [jack and jill]. Adam and Eve is a 50+ year old company, pre-dating Google by about 27 years. If Google was around 70 years ago, and SEOs existed, every SEO would have told them not to name their company Adam and Eve. The SafeSearch filter is super picky and hard to get Google to reclassify. But the company has its brand and it is what it is.
That being said, if Google was worried about my kids searching for [adam and eve] or [jack and jill] and seeing adult oriented results, it would use the exact same policy that it uses for its organic results that it does for its paid results. But both search companies do not do that. For the Google Ads not to show the sex toy company for a query on [adam and eve] or [jack and jill], you need to explicitly tell Google to hide explicit results. But Google’s free organic results hide the sex toy company websites without you explicitly telling Google to hide them. And yes, the ads are shown above the free listings – so how is Google or Bing saving the innocence of these children if the ads show the adult oriented sites?
Here are screenshots I took the other day, click on them to enlarge.
Adam and Eve query showing several sex toy ads above the organic results, and no, the sex toy company’s web site is not listed in the organic free results:
Same story with Microsoft Bing:
Similar with Google for Jack and Jill:
But if you go to your search setting and filter the explicit results, then the Google Ads will behave like the default behavior of the organic results:
Just last August, Google said the Google will worry more about making search safer for kids – but that seemed to focus mostly on the free results but when it comes to money, they only restricted a portion of it, how advertisers can target kids but not what they might see for queries like this.
The reason I am writing all of this is because John Mueller of Google was asked by the French based Adam And Eve team about why the site doesn’t rank for the brand term, [adam et eve] and less so about why it doesn’t rank for [adam and eve]. The question was brought up in two different videos, the second time, this past Friday, John basically said the SafeSearch team thought it was correct to block it for that query too because the query can mean something very innocent and to be safe, they are blocking it. Of course, you can always add a qualifier to the query, like [adam and eve toys] or [adam and eve sex] etc and that is great. But why not have the same rules apply here for organic that do for ads.
I get the two divisions between organic and ads are separate but this is a SafeSearch topic.
Glenn Gabe summed up the organic issues super well on Twitter on both videos. Here is the first one from a couple weeks ago. Glenn put links directly to where John talked about this in the video, so you can click them to listen.
Here is what trending looks like for the homepage for the brand keyword “adam et eve”. Looks like trouble started in April 2021, jumped back and forth, and then flatlined in late August or September. Again, interesting case. Could very well be a Google issue there… pic.twitter.com/IIyOb6jzsX
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) December 20, 2021
Part two – you can even see the SEO team’s disappointment in John’s response:
For the query “adam et eve” on https://t.co/6CZVRqFnIf, the site doesn’t show up at all when SafeSearch is on or off. For “adam and eve” on https://t.co/6CZVRqFnIf, it does show up when SafeSearch is off, but not on. And on https://t.co/d89gR4A4LX (in FR), there are diff. results pic.twitter.com/ySn7dXo8ss
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) December 26, 2021
So as @lilyraynyc has explained before, choose your brand wisely if Search is important for your business. You don’t want to have to battle Google’s SafeSearch algorithms (or other algo weirdness) when people search for your brand. Tough situation for them https://t.co/PYtHsx4o10 pic.twitter.com/BnkRcfOwz0
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) December 26, 2021
Anyway, you can see how sometimes the rules Google makes on the organic side seem to not jive with that on the Google Ads side.
Forum discussion at Twitter.