There Is a Reason Your Google Search Results Aren’t Filled Entirely With Porn

A multigenerational Two Girls, One Cup viewing? Photo: iStockphoto

You can all thank (blame?) Google engineer Matt Cutts's wife for the fact that spammers are unable to inundate your search results with porn. Once upon a time ten years ago, the web was a paradise dystopia of spam bots injecting filthy pornographic links in perfectly innocent search results. Cutts developed a product called SafeSearch in 2000, but some pornbots just kept slipping through. In the new book In the Plex, Stephen Levy describes how the company dealt with all that unwanted smut. "Google asked Cutts how he felt about porn," writes Levy. "He'd have to see a lot of it to produce a system to filter it out of Google." When Cutts tried to get his co-workers to help, everyone said they were too "busy," not at all looking at porn. "No one will help me look for porn!," Cutts complained to his wife. So she volunteered to bake chocolate-chip cookies for anyone that helped her husband find sites that got past the SafeSearch filter. "She's still known as the porn cookie lady at Google," Cutts recalls in the book. Thus proving that some Google employees need to reprioritize their vices.

How Google Tackled Its Early Porn Problem [HuffPo]