So I was doing a completely innocent Google search during a break at work today when I got hit by a page with images that I was not expecting.

After seeing the awesome cosplay outfits people have been coming up with, I’ve decided to look into creating something. The thing is, being a dark skinned person I am not spoilt for characters that I can draw from, since most of the characters in anime have pale skin. So I decided to start looking for alternative takes on existing costumes, since I would actually love to take an existing character and do my own take on it. So I opened a tab, clicked on the Google search and started to type.

WARNING: IMAGE RESULTS ARE NOT, I REPEAT, NOT SAFE FOR WORK so test this out on Google at your own risk

I entered the search terms “Cosplay variant”, as in variant designs of existing cosplay outfits, and clicked the search button. The Web search results were what I expected, as was the expected image previews that Google places at the top of the Web search page.

Now Google did catch my attention by asking me at the very top “Did you mean cosplay deviants?”

No Google, I didn’t mean Cosplay Deviants. I already knew at this point that Cosplay Deviants is a group of girls on DeviantArt who like to dress up, and then dress down, as their favourite cosplay characters. I knew this because they’ve popped up in my various cosplay related searches on DeviantArt already. Considering I was at work, I knew Cosplay Deviants was one of the things I was NOT looking for.

I continued to browse though the search results, and realised that what I was looking for could probably be found on the Images page, so I opened the image results.

What the f*&^?
What the f*&^?

This is where I am grateful for my gaming reflexes because just as quickly as that page opened, it snapped closed. My brain had identified there were images on that page that shouldn’t be there and instinctively killed the page the moment it registered “boobies”.

Now some of you guys may know I don’t get as much sleep as I would like, so I figured I must have accidentally clicked the wrong thing. I opened the Image search directly, typed in the search terms “cosplay variant” again, and whammo! Gamer reflexes kicked in again.

NO GOOGLE! THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR! I may not love my job but I do enjoy having Internet access, food in my stomach and a roof over my head, so BAD GOOGLE! VERY BAD!

Thankfully no one at work had seemed to notice, but this still left me wondering to myself why was Google dishing up porn in preference to what I was actually searching for? So I decided when I got home today to double check this.

I got home, turned on my PC, fired up my browser and logged onto Google. As expected, the Web search brings up what I’m looking for. The Image search on the other hand doesn’t (or maybe it does?) and is filled with pictures of naked girls and their naughty bits.

I was still perplexed by this situation so I decided to look over the Image search page more carefully (no, not in that way), which is when I noticed this at the top of the Image page search results:

Showing results for cosplay deviant

But that’s not what I searched for? Why was it bringing those images up?

The following option was right below it:

Search instead for cosplay variant

I clicked on the second option, which was the search terms I was actually looking for, and to my surprise I actually got the images that I wanted, minus the random naked girls!

That’s right people. Google has reminded me that when I search for something, it’s going to give me a healthy serving of porn, instead of the images I actually want. Thanks Google! If someone at work did notice you may have just inadvertently kick started my career as a freelancer.

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