Google Blogoscoped

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Queries With Removed/ Censored Results in Google

Here are some sample queries which contain removed or self-censored pages, according to Google’s disclaimers (I’m including pages missing due to alleged copyright infringements, you can judge for yourself if you’d call this censorship):


In Google France:

aryan 88

The notice linked at the bottom of the results reads: “Google received complaints prior to March 2005 about URLs that are alleged to be illegal under U.S. or local law. In response to these complaints, one or more URLs that would have appeared for this search were not displayed.” The site in question is likely, which is completely missing in Google France (in, the query returns 213 hits).


In Google USA:

This is a site operator query across, a site critical of the Scientology. Scientology sent Google a letter that complained about a particular page at Xenu as part of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. “This particular web site owner has placed our clients’ copyrighted works and federally registered trademarks on his web page without the authorization of our clients. According, his actions are in violation of United States copyright law and I request Google either remove or disable access to the web site, “”.”


In Google Australia:

aboriginal encyclopedia dramatica

Google at the footer of the results currently disclaims that 4 pages are missing. The explanation details that “Google received a complaint about a website that allegedly violates the Australian Anti Discrimination Act. Accordingly, Google removed the website from”


In Google China:

human rights

In China, the explanation consists of one sentence, which auto-translates to “According to local laws, regulations and policies, some search results are not shown.”


In Google Germany:

holocaust lüge

This means “holocaust lie”. Denying the holocaust is illegal in Germany. Google’s explanation notice reads “A URL that otherwise would have appeared in response to your search, was not displayed because that URL was reported as illegal by a German regulatory body.”


When a particular search query leads to censored results, that does not mean the query in itself is blocked, but it usually means that a URL that would have appeared on the results for this query is blocked. This is perhaps best illustrated by the following query:

freie Meinungsäußerung und geschichtliche Wahrheit

Translated, this means “free speech and historical truth”. But enter this in Google Germany, and Google will show censored results... because these words appeared in a document that is illegal in Germany.


If you want the most uncensored Google results, may be the site of your choice. In the US, free speech is hold up high in comparison to some other countries... at least if you ignore content unavailable due to copyright issues. (Note there may be other mechanisms by which certain content won’t reach you easily due to lobbyists, group pressure, mainstream media ignoring a certain subject, an opinion not being commercial enough – for instance a TV program that won’t find advertisers due to its controversial subject may need to be cancelled – and so on... all these mechanisms can have effects on Google results, too.)


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!