SEO News
Search

Safe Searching with Lycos

author-default
by , Comments

Parents, librarians or others needing to restrict access to adult or inappropriate web sites should look at Lycos SearchGuard, a flexible and sensible filter that doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Web filtering is a controversial issue, but there's no denying that it's a good idea in some situations. Many approaches have been tried, but the problem with most filtering programs or schemes is that they're overzealous and often block useful content in addition to the undesirable stuff. They also tend to be black boxes, so you don't really know what you're missing when using one.

Like most search engines, Lycos offers an "adult content" filter, but it's more sophisticated than those offered by others. Rather than a simple toggle that turns a filter on or off, Lycos provides a selective interface, allowing you to block up to five different kinds of inappropriate content.

Options include filtering out violent content, filtering out hate and racist content, filtering out content about weapons, filtering out sexually oriented content, or selecting all of these options. Notably, you can also disable access to Lycos chat and Lycos mail, adding another layer of protection beyond filtering search results.

These filters also work because they're not automated. "There's an explicit blacklist of phrases that's editorially compiled and maintained on a regular basis," according to Tom Wilde, general manager of search services for Lycos.

This means that a student searching for information on "breast cancer" will get results, whereas a simple search on "breast" will display a message saying "all of the words in the original query breast are deemed to be adult-oriented" and no results will be shown.

"We felt strongly about taking a lead in providing one of the safest neighborhoods on the web for kids," said Lycos spokesperson Kathy O'Reilly.

One minor problem with SearchGuard is that it doesn't apply to the annoying pop-under ads Lycos sometime serves with search results. Even with SearchGuard enabled, you might see an ad for casino gambling, for example.

Lycos' Wilde acknowledges the problem and says it will be fixed soon. He also holds out hope that Lycos may eliminate pop-unders altogether as run of service ads are usually irrelevant to search results and interfere with the overall high-quality search experience Lycos seeks to provide. We'll see.

Bottom line: if you need a web search filtering solution, Lycos' flexible SearchGuard is one of your best options for keeping searchers out of the seedier neighborhoods of the web.

Lycos SearchGuard
http://searchguard.lycos.com/searchguard.asp

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Online portals news
Yahoo dumps MapQuest...
ZDNet Mar 7 2002 12:10PM GMT
Domain name news
Net law expert slams domain dispute process...
The Register Mar 7 2002 9:40AM GMT
Online search engines news
Search engine listings up for bid...
SiliconValley.com Mar 7 2002 7:24AM GMT
Domain name news
New .name domains give individuals a place to call home...
SiliconValley.com Mar 7 2002 7:23AM GMT
Online marketing news
How a Traditional Trade Publisher is Selling Both Ads and Subscriptions Online...
ContentBiz.com Mar 7 2002 6:00AM GMT
Online legal issues news
Amazon, Barnes&Noble settle patent suit...
CNET Mar 7 2002 3:42AM GMT
Online portals news
Yahoo builds more fees into GeoCities...
ZDNet Mar 6 2002 9:54PM GMT
Online search engines news
New Metasearch Tool Maximizes UK Search Engine Results...
URLwire Mar 6 2002 7:51PM GMT
Internet: international news
Al-Qaeda may use internet to regroup...
BBC Mar 6 2002 2:13PM GMT
Tech latest
Web group in copyright barney...
vnunet.com Mar 6 2002 12:10PM GMT
Top internet stories
Kazaa benefits from Morpheus shutdown...
ZDNet Mar 6 2002 9:48AM GMT
Online search engines news
More Google Phonebook Fun...
Research Buzz Mar 6 2002 7:48AM GMT
Internet: international news
Art on the internet...
The Prague Tribune Mar 6 2002 7:08AM GMT
powered by Moreover.com


The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES DenverSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates extended through Sept 19. Register today!

Recommend this story

comments powered by Disqus