Bing Shopping Feed Screening Finds Porn Everywhere

My client, The Motor Bookstore, sent me a list of over 270 of their books that Bing’s shopping feed upload had rejected, mostly because it thought the topic was porn.

And while I’ll admit I get all hot and sweaty looking at pictures of Ferraris, and have been known to utter all sorts of nasty words while working on an old car, reading from the manual to “attach part X as shown” when it’s bloody well NOT shown…shop manuals and collector guides really aren’t porn in anybody’s world.

AMC Used Parts Buyers Guide

Don’t look…this is porn. Oooh, a naked engine! #shameonme

Now, I’ll give Bing credit for going all-out to keep the naughty bits of the web from showing up in the wrong places, but I think they may have gone a bit Church Lady on us here.

Here’s a few of my favorite examples–straight from the Merchant Catalog Report CSV file–of Bing’s filters missing the mark:

  1. Multiple books on engine conversions rejected, marked as Adult-Sex Dating because of the word swapping.
  2. Multiple books on the Dodge Dart Swinger, also marked as Adult-Sex Dating. Seriously, I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but the Dart Swinger was NEVER going to get anyone any action.
  3. This book on vintage Honda CB350-550 four-cylinder motorcycles, disallowed for adult content and potential bestiality, citing the occurrence of the word petcock.
  4. This book on transmission repair, cause, well, ya know, it talks about trannies.
  5. And this repair manual for the Porsche 911, flagged as about “weapons”…and having had a couple of 911s, I have to say, in this case, they’re right :-)
  6. A book on how to paint your show car, flagged as adult content because it talks about stripping.
  7. The AMC Interchangeable Parts Buyers Guide, which is flagged for violence content [sic], because it talks about “Arming yourself with knowledge found in this book increases your chance of successful hunting and potentially saving some $$”.
  8. The Haynes Yamaha R1 repair manual, which is flagged for Adult – Porn/adult entertainment because it talks about chain links that can bind and kink.
  9. A book on converting Volkswagen vans to camper vans apparently contains disallowed supplements and health products. Well, actually, they’re probably not too far off there, especially if the van is anywhere near Burning Man.
  10. And a book near and dear to my heart (I’m working on restoring a 1969 Chevelle SS), covers how to rebuild big-block engines…also marked as adult entertainment (hey, fair enough!) because of the words “doing it” (the intro mentions “you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself”). Seriously, the words “doing it” was what was flagged.
  11. Numerous books flagged because of mentions of nipples and butts. If you’ve spent any time in the chassis or electric sections of a shop manual, you’ll have read a lot about nipples and butts, and trust me, it’s NOT hot.
  12. The Chilton Easy Car Care manual gets tagged for adult content when the book excerpt is from the section on electrical, and mentions lights, fuses and flashers.
  13. My favorite: the Chilton manual for the Oldsmobile Cutlass, flagged as Adult-Sex Dating for mentioning “easy hookup of vaccuum hoses”. Trust me, if you’re driving a Cutlass, you’re not going to hookup easy.

Who knew car repair was such a dirty business?

Google Local Search Puts the K in Kwality

Discovered today: when you’re looking at the maps results for a Google search, and click on one of the listings to expand it (here, I’m clicking on the result for J. Rollins Art of Framing):

List of maps results in Google

what ACTUALLY expands is the listing above it:

Expanded result after clicking

Seems like the team there could use a slightly more rigorous set of sanity checks.


Apparently Google is in the midst of a little experimentation. A search for “frame shop” returns the following:

New link to more frame shop

See the link at the bottom….where it says “more frame shop”? That takes you to a DIFFERENT Maps page, where clicking on one of the results doesn’t expand the selection, but rather, takes you to the website directly.

Whereas a search for “gym” (same browser, same session) returns the familiar “map results for…” (upon clicking that, you get to the buggy expanding listings):

map results

Setting your city in Google–only works for Maps now

It USED to be that when you set your location via Search Tools in Google, it would control where Google thought you were searching from, affecting the organic/local universal results and the maps results (yeah, the AdWords results were ALWAYS messed up on this, and still are).

As of today, it seems that setting your location ONLY controls the Maps results in the 7-pack…look at the screenshot below and you’ll see the local universal results controlled by where I’m geolocated to be from my IP address (Portland).

Mixed location results in Google search

New Company Info Pulldown in Google SERPs

Google is now showing a little pulldown to the right of the website URL in their search results. When you click the pulldown, you get a synopsis of the company or organization.

New company info pulldowns in Google SERPs

In the admittedly limited testing I’ve done so far, I’ve only seen info on the company pulled from two sources: Wikipedia, and DMOZ. Wikipedia is an understandable source, as Google has structured access to that information via their Freebase service. DMOZ is a different story, however, as it’s been notoriously difficult to get added to, and hence its information can be pretty thin and out of date. I did check one of the examples where the company info was pulled from DMOZ, and that same company is in Freebase as well.

Regardless, I’d call this a mildly interesting new user experience feature.

Google testing 100 results per page

While doing keyword research for a client, I spotted a longer than usual set of results.

REALLY longer.

So I counted them. 100 organic results for “vinyl fencing”. Redid the search, back to the usual 10.

Here’s the screenshot of the page compressed as much as I could…so at least you can see I’m not lying :-)

100 results on page 1?

Followup: my initial query URL was:

clicking on the “2″ (page) link at the bottom took me to this URL (note the num= and the startat= parameters):

Independent search engine optimization (SEO) consultant Michael Cottam. Independent SEO Consultant Michael Cottam
3166 N Winchell Street, Portland, OR US 97217 (503) 283-0177
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