'Religious search engine' CatholicGoogle: oh my god…
“Oh my God” was my first reaction when I read about the launch of a new search engine: CatholicGoogle. Well, search engine… not really. It’s a “search engine powered by Google” using the "safe search" technology from Google.
The ‘search engine’ has the same look and feel as Google has, and the logo is very similar. In the disclaimer it proclaims that it works “closely with Google to help ensure that the adverts are not objectionable in nature”. That sounds as if Google is involved in the search engine, but it isn’t. “The site is not associated or affiliated with Google.com”.
The safesearch on the site is not working as hoped for. As Techcrunch already noted a search for “drunk” gives back a video of Catholic kids getting drunk together as a number one result. Probably not what catholic parents are hoping for. On the other hand, a search for the word “fuck” doesn’t give back any results at all. And a search for the word “gay” gives back an add for a gay-dating site. Wonder what the pope thinks of that…
A funny result is when you search for "masturbation" an add shows up urging the searcher to find a nice woman...
The owners of the site must already have known this at launch and therefore added the sentence “however, some of the results and adverts that are displayed may not be in line with Catholic doctrine and we do not endorse of any of the results or adverts displayed on Catholic Google” to its disclaimer. It doesn't add to the trust of the website.
These kind of vertical search engines could be a trend which we will see more off in this coming year. However if it will be successful has to be seen. The search engine probably targets for a specific audience which is looking for specific content. Because the search engine is only a ‘filter’, with a not-well-working Safesearch.
Also the question arises if Google is going to allow this search engine. I’m afraid that won’t be the case, but we’ll have to wait and see. Finally: will this site work? Only God knows…
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