Last week, Todd Glider of the mature-content website Badoink wrote an open letter to Google about the latter’s sudden decision to ban adult advertising at the behest of the purity league “Morality in Media.” His detailed, insightful letter addresses many of the recent problems between Google and legal adult businesses, and I highly recommend reading it.
Although the AdWords ban has been well publicized, Glider also notes that MIM claims that Google additionally “will also no longer link to sites that contain [adult] materials, no matter how benign their advertising,” meaning that adult content would be completely de-indexed from Google search results. He indicates that even though his company has spent millions of dollars on Google ads, he couldn’t get a Google rep to answer his questions about exactly what would be considered a “graphic depiction,” and therefore prohibited.
Glider reiterates that Google holds a near-monopoly on Internet content indexing and points out the hypocrisy of a company that claims it doesn’t want to “do evil” censoring legal content. He notes that hate sites, for example, are now easier to find on Google than many legal adult sites like Badoink.
I would add that if Google does strip adult content out of its organic search results, services that are powered by Google, such as StartPage.com (which I have recommended), would also be affected. At this time, it may be prudent for customers to begin migrating to alternative search engines such as DuckDuckGo or Ixquick, which do not depend on Google search results. Webmasters may wish to consider focusing SEO efforts on Bing and Yahoo instead of Google until the organic search situation becomes more clear.