I've noticed that search suggestions (such as "marijuana", "The Pirate Bay", and various "swear words") are now being censored, i.e., not appearing in search suggestions despite being popular queries. Whenever I start typing the word "marijuana", the only search suggestion that I see is "marijuana's effects on the brain."

I haven't seen any option on Google Search that would allow users to turn off this word filter. Is there any way to work around this problem?

  • 1
    Have you tried modifying your "safe search" preferences in google? Are you in a country where The Pirate Bay website is blocked? (looked for this in your profile but didn't find) If so do you get a different result when you VPN through a network outside your home country?
    – AllInOne
    Jul 10, 2012 at 11:22
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    @AllInOne Turning SafeSearch on off doesn't affect search suggestions. I still haven't found a way to stop certain words and phrases from being censored. Jan 1, 2013 at 18:39
  • Downvoted as this question doesn't make a whole lot of sense. You can still search for whatever terms you want, you just won't be auto suggested certain things.
    – Folk
    May 12, 2017 at 15:01

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure why this is a "problem".

  1. Google was "asked" by the MPAA and RIAA to prevent piracy-related terms from showing up in autocomplete and they agreed to do so. Google is not required to show any search suggestions for any particular search term. If you don't like that, you can go use a less-popular search engine, like Bing, that hasn't yet been asked to implement such restrictions.
  2. Google has also chosen to hide various terms that are widely considered "NSFW" (Not Safe For Work) from the search suggestions. That way, you can use Google at work without having to worry about what your boss will see on your screen when he comes up behind you.

Note that if you purposely search for these any terms that do not show up in the suggestion list, you will still find them. Google is not censoring your search results.

  • They aren't "telling people what they shouldn't search for", they are just not contributing to your query. You are still completely free to search for whatever you want.
    – Moshe Katz
    Jan 1, 2013 at 19:35
  • They won't show suggestions that are NSFW ("not safe for work"). That way, you don't have to worry about when your boss walks up behind you and reacts to the first thing he sees on your screen. I have expanded my answer with this information.
    – Moshe Katz
    Jan 1, 2013 at 22:50
  • Additionally, I've noticed that typing the word "marijuana" only shows search suggestions for "marijuana's effects on the brain", while hiding all other search suggestions. Feb 7, 2014 at 3:53

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