• How do Yahoo, Bing and Google SafeSearch compare to each other?

    Trust me, if you have young kids at home, you want to turn on SafeSearch for the search engines. No, you don’t have to enter nasty words to get nasty results. Searches with innocent words can bring nasty results to your screens. Try “american video”, “european video”, “latin video”, “asian video” and see for yourselves.

    All three major search engines, Yahoo, Bing and Google let you turn on the SafeSearch mode. However, each one does it a little bit differently. I’ll show you some sample search results here, so that you can get an idea about how they differ from each other.

    1. Search for chicken breast recipes
    2. Search for cock, I mean, rooster.
    3. Someone told me “bad cock” sells furnitures.

      Yahoo also blocked “bad cock” for image search. But Bing was happy to display pictures for the furniture store when I did image search.

    4. Beach models?
    5. While both Yahoo and Bing decided that a web search for “beach model” is harmful, both were happy to show pictures in image searches. Google showed pictures in image search too, but at least it was consistent in not blocking the web search either.


    Notes for pcWRT users:
    When you check the Safe search checkbox in a profile, SafeSearch will be turned on for Yahoo, Bing and Google. There’s no need to fumble with the SafeSearch settings in browsers. However, please take note of the following specifics for each search engine:

    1. Google SafeSearch works for both HTTP and HTTPS.
    2. Bing SafeSearch works only with HTTP. There’s no way to enforce Bing SafeSearch for HTTPS at the router without cracking open the HTTPS connection. However, since explicit images are hosted on explicit.bing.net in Bing search results, and explicit.bing.net is blocked by OpenDNS, there isn’t much harm even when kids search Bing without SafeSearch. But if you are really cautious, block Bing HTTPS search by entering https://bing.com into the Blocked URLs list.
    3. Yahoo SafeSearch works only with HTTP. So you want to block Yahoo HTTPS search. Entering https://search.yahoo.com into the Blocked URLs list will do the trick. However, since Yahoo embeds HTTPS URLs in their HTTP search forms, blocking HTTPS search essentially makes Yahoo search over HTTP pretty much useless too. It would be simpler just enter search.yahoo.com into the Blocked URLs list

Leave a Reply