As we’ve reported on several times, Google has started cleaning up its Image Search experience, sometimes making results less relevant in the process. In fact, some other things that Google is doing these days make for a much more censored experience altogether. With regards to Image Search in particular, they made it harder to find adult content, even with SafeSearch turned off.
Bing, on the other hand, is not only not doing this, but it is going out of its way to suggest that you search for adult content on some popular searches. If you go to Bing’s image search without typing a specific query, it displays the top twenty trending image searches like so:
Many of these, when clicked, come with some rather risque search suggestions. Number ten, Heather Graham, for example, suggests the following searches in bold at the top of the page: Heather Graham Naked, Heather Graham Nude, Heather Graham Tits, Heather Graham Pussy, Heather Graham Sex Scene, Heather Graham No Bra, Heather Graham Boobs, Heather Graham Sex, Heather Graham Hot, and Heather Graham Tesch.
Granted, SafeSearch is off, but this is quite a bit different than what you get from Google. Click on those explicit search suggestions, and you’ll get explicit content. The suggestions change when the setting is set to moderate or strict.
Google’s recommended searches at the top of the screen on a “Heather Graham” search are: heather graham hangover, heather graham premiere, heather graham 2013, heather graham judy moody, heather graham no makeup, heather graham husband.
Quite a bit different.
It’s worth noting that Google calls them “related searches,” and that this is without checking the “filter explicit results” option, which replaced the old SafeSearch style that was similar to what Bing still has.
Now, you can still find the type of content that Bing is recommending in Google if you specifically type the keywords that Bing is suggesting. It’s not exactly missing from the index. Google has just gone out of its way in recent months to make it more difficult to find this kind of content, electing to make people get more specific with their keywords. As we’ve seen, there are times when this approach has sacrificed the relevancy of the search.
Perusing Bing’s various trending image searches, you see similar results. Amelia Vega suggests: Amelia Vega Nude. Sloane Stephens suggests Sloane Stephens nude. Jodi Arias suggests: Jodi Arias Nude and Jodi Arias Naked. Lohan suggests: Lindsay Lohan Nude, Lindsay Lohan Naked, Lohan Bares All, Lohan Tits, Lohan Topless, Lindsay Lohan Playboy, Lindsay Lohan Spread Eagle, Lohan Wardrobe Malfunction, etc. Similar results for searches for Taraji P. Henson and Sarah Silverman. It’s not just the women though. Nick Lachey suggests: Nick Lahcey Nude, Nick Lachey Naked, etc.
The difference in how these two search engine competitors illustrates how different their philosophies are regarding certain types of content. On the other hand, we’ve seen Bing make some much more appalling suggestions recently too.