How to Filter Adult Search Results in Google Custom Search Engine

Many times publishers come to us asking help on how they can get rid of adult search results on their site that are being powered by Google’s Custom Search Engine (CSE). As you may know, in order to be eligible for Adsense or AdExchange, a site cannot display ads on adult search result pages.

Examples include, but are not limited to, search results pages for:

  • search results pages for adult or mature term
  • images or videos with adult keywords or tags
  • user-generated comments that are mature in nature
  • Read Google’s policy on Adult search filtering here.

To fix this problem, tap the powers of SafeSearch! This is a feature for Google Custom Search Engine customers who want more control over their on-site search results. It is a way to filter non-family safe content like adult searches, and potentially offensive content.

Related Read: Keep It Clean: Avoid Adult Content on Sites With Google Ads

SafeSearch

  • google.search.Search.RESTRICT_SAFESEARCH restricts results to images based on one of the following opt_value options:
  • google.search.Search.SAFESEARCH_STRICT filters for both explicit text and explicit images.
  • google.search.Search.SAFESEARCH_MODERATE filters for explicit images (the default behavior).
  • google.search.Search.SAFESEARCH_OFF turns off Safe Search filtering.

See more details here: https://developers.google.com/custom-search/docs/structured_search?hl=es#safesearch

In order to be Adsense/Adx-compliant, we recommend that publishers implement “Strict” level of SafeSearch to filter both explicit text and image.

Now, as a Google Site Search customer, there is a Custom Search API that you can utilize to easily filter adult search results.

Check out what Google’s SafeSearch technology has to offer: https://developers.google.com/custom-search/docs/xml_results#safeSearchLevels

Filtering Adult Content with SafeSearch

Many Google customers do not want to display search results for sites that contain adult content. Using our SafeSearch filter, you can screen for search results that contain adult content and eliminate them. Google’s filters use proprietary technology to check keywords, phrases, and URLs. While no filters are 100 percent accurate, SafeSearch will remove the overwhelming majority of adult content from your search results.

Google strives to keep SafeSearch as current and comprehensive as possible by continually crawling the Web and by incorporating updates from user suggestions.

SafeSearch is available in the following languages:

  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese (Brazilian)
  • Spanish
  • Traditional Chinese

You can adjust the degree to which Google filters your results for adult content using the safe query parameter. The following table explains Google’s SafeSearch settings and how those settings will affect your search results:

safesearch level

In any case, we mostly advise publishers to remove adult-content search results or remove the Google ad code on such search result pages to avoid having issues with their AdExchange application.

If you need help in getting your site Google-compliant for AdExchange (the best Adsense alternative), contact us here, or sign-up as a premium publisher here.


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Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean is the resident expert in Ad Optimization covering areas like AdSense Optimization, DFP Management, and third-party ad network partnerships. Kean believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals and holistic optimization as keys to effective and consistent ad revenue increases.

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