Google Blocking “Scam” Keyword in Autocomplete

Google Suggest / Autocomplete has been causing grief for business owners for a while, especially after the launch of Google Instant. Searchers would have queries suggested that might include terms like torrent or scam. Back in January, Google started censoring piracy related terms. At SMX West, I saw a fun debate between Avi Wilensky and Othar Hansson from Google, where they debated over the need for clients to execute gray/black-hat tactics to manipulate suggestions.

I've personally had a problem with this myself, since one of my client's core products starts with "s" and the first suggestion, before the product, was "scam".

It looks like Google may now be blocking suggestions using just the word "scam".

Looking at a search mentioned by Avi “AdSense is a scam” it forces the user to press enter to return results.

Looking at a previously known example: Taggedmail Scam

 

No suggestion for scam, so let's try to type out scam.

Clear page on typing scam, must press Enter to search. However, it seems to only be filtering the word "scam" not "scams".

 

 

Personally, I like this change. I think it's a good idea to require a user to prove their search intent before displaying scam results. How do you feel about it?

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