Everything you need to know about Google SafeSearch
What exactly is it and how do you, a consenting adult, turn it off?
Have you tried Googling your favourite sexual wellness company and products only to find the search results lacking, along with your overall sexual happiness? Then you could be suffering from SAFESEARCH. Here’s all you need to know:
What is Google SafeSearch?
Put simply, SafeSearch is a Google feature that is designed to prevent explicit content from appearing search results, including those that lead to “explicit sex or nudity”.1
The feature has existed in some form or other since the year 2000, and was implemented with the aim of protecting under 18s from potentially harmful content, a cause that we at Lovehoney are wholeheartedly behind.
BUT, changes made to the feature last year have been unfairly impacting the entirety of the sexual wellness industry, and preventing consenting adults from achieving sexual happiness. As part of a software update in response to the UK ICO’s Age-Appropriate Design Code2, SafeSearch went from just being automatically turned on for children, to being the default setting for anyone (including adults) whose age Google can’t determine.
Why does this matter?
Last year’s changes mean that countless consenting adults are being prevented from searching for Lovehoney and other sexual wellness retailers. The clever ones at Lovehoney were able to estimate that as many as 700,000 consumers were unable to find our site in just TWO MONTHS – that’s approximately 39 million orgasms denied (figure based on one person having one orgasm per day – I don’t make the rules).
Worse still, if Google has turned SafeSearch on for you and you search for ‘Lovehoney’, even though ads for our site and organic listings are blocked from the results, our very own products will still show up on other well-known retailers.
Anyway, after a mere 600 complaints to Google itself about blocking our ads but not other advertisers, we still haven’t had a worthy response, so we’re taking matters into our own hands.
We have created an instructional guide for anyone suffering from SafeSearch:
How do I turn SafeSearch off?