‘Sex,’ ‘Porn’ Still Top Search Terms

Matt O'Conner
LONDON — While most search engines edit publicly available lists of top search terms to exclude sex-related queries, an uncensored list from Wordtracker reveals that sex-related terms are still among the most popular with surfers.

In fact, according to the list, compiled by Wordtracker based on data from search engine compilers Dogpile.com and Metacrawler.com, the word “sex” itself still dominates all individual search words, with more than 300,000 surfers every day over a 60-day period submitting queries that contained “sex.”

“Porn” was the number-two individual word, showing up in around 235,000 queries per day.

Other adult-oriented words in the top 10 include “pussy” at number four with 175,000 daily occurrences and “milf” at number six with around 140,000 searches.

Most search engines have taken up the practice of filtering out explicit language from their top search lists, such as Google’s Zeitgeist, making it difficult to spot adult-oriented trends.

Last year, University of Pittsburgh professor Amanda Spink tried to fill in the information gaps with her book “Web Search,” which showed detailed trends in search engine submission for the years 1997 to 2004.

“Ours is about the only book that says what people are really doing,” Spink commented when it was first published.

According to Spink’s research, the percent of searches for sexual content went down by about half during that period, but remained in the top spot despite the relative decline.

In particular, sex and adult content were the most frequent subjects of advanced searches and multimedia searches.