-4^(1/4) Google Porn

Google has been the number one search engine across the world for many years now. It has built itself up by providing web searchers with the most accurate answers to their queries (or at least thats what I would have said before they started messing around with Panda and Penguin updates).

But occasionally things can appear to go a bit wrong –

414-porn

The above screen shot is from the first page of results that appear after looking up an equation –  -4^(1/4) – on Google. The reason why any results show at all may be explained thus:

“Hi, I’m a Google search engineer. Anon User and Nicholas Moyne did some excellent analysis. As a web search query, [-4^(1/4)] is interpreted like [-4 “1 4”], as in “Find me pages which contain a 1 next to a 4, but which do not contain a 4.” This should return zero results, because it is impossible to satisfy both requirements. However, we have uncovered a bug that causes some web pages to “match” these contradictory queries.”
Jeremy Hoffman, Google Engineer

Now, as to why porn appears, that is most likely down to black hat SEO techniques in which webmasters have actually tried to rank their pages for impossible queries (though I wonder why as how often do people search for impossible queries under normal circumstances??).

Whilst Google have appeared to ‘fix’ many of these types of queries there are still a few other remaining, such as –15 “15 30” and -s “s 2”.

Can you find any others?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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