Filtering results on search engines
Question : Is there a way to keep sexually explicit sites from
showing up in web searches?
Answer : As you may have noticed, the Internet is full of sexually
explicit material. While blocking all of it may be a Sisyphean chore, there
are a few things you can do to help cut down on the number of these sites
landing on your search results page.
Most big search engines, including Google, MSN Search, and Yahoo!, include a
SafeSearch filter in their preferences, which you can use to sift out results
from sexually-oriented websites. (The filter is not related to an old adware
program, also called SafeSearch, which redirected web browsers to certain
To use the SafeSearch filter with Google, for example, click the Preferences
link on the main Google search page and select the level of screening you want
to use with our search.
You can choose strict filtering, which blocks text and images, or moderate
filtering, which just blocks images. Moderate filtering is the default in most
cases. You can also use SafeSearch filtering when using the Advanced and Image
search pages on Google, MSN, and Yahoo!
You can turn the filter off in the browser preferences as well. Filtering
search results is an imperfect science, and depending on what you are
searching for, you may block websites with information about reproductive
health or political issues.
Filtering programs like ContentProtect from ContentWatch and Net Nanny can be
bought and may be useful if you have children.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser also has a Content Advisor setting that
can block sites with potentially offensive material. To use it, go on the
Tools menu, click the Internet Options box, click on the Content tab, and
adjust the settings.