Google Gives Users a Way to Lock SafeSearch

    November 11, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google has launched a new way to lock SafeSearch. What this accomplishes is, users will have to enter their password to change the setting, and Google Search results will be visibly different than when SafeSearch is not locked.

Google demonstrates how to to lock SafeSearch with the following short clip:

When SafeSearch is locked, there is a big image in the top right-hand corner of Google that shows colored balls. This makes it easy to tell whether or not SafeSearch is locked. "Even from across the room, the colored balls give parents and teachers a clear visual cue that SafeSearch is still locked," Google says. "And if you don’t see them, it’s quick and easy to verify and re-lock SafeSearch."

Google - lock safesearch

You can lock SafeSearch by simply going to Search Settings from the Google home page. There is a "SafeSearch filtering" section there, where you can adjust the settings and lock them if you choose. When you lock SafeSearch, you are automatically choosing the "strict" setting (as opposed to moderate).

Can Certain Words Get My Content Blocked?

People have often wondered if their content is being blocked in SafeSearch if they have certain words on an otherwise family-friendly site. In fact, Google’s Matt Cutts recently addressed such concerns in a video at Google’s Webmaster Central YouTube channel.

"We try to write our algorithm such that just having a single word mentioned here or there really won’t have that much of an impact," says Cutts. "Now, of course some words are worse than others. If you’ve got some slang or something that’s misspelled and really is not a word that you can repeat in polite company, that makes it more likely that that page will get flagged. But in most cases you should be in relatively good shape as long as most of your content or most of the words on your page are family-friendly."

It stands to reason that if you are producing content that you are hoping that families and children will view, it’s in your best interest to keep your language family-friendly. That’s pretty much common sense, but Google has put it into a search engine visibility light as well.

Related Articles:

> Google’s Safe Search Filters

> Google Won’t Remove Pages About You