Even as Google dominates the broad search market, there's been a rise in niche-oriented engines that specialize in filtering out content that conflicts with ethnic or religious sensibilities. An AFP report by Virginie Montet highlights three of these search engines: Imhalal.com (targeting Islamic Muslims and anyone looking to avoid "explicit content or immoral websites" that contain alcohol or pornography), seekfind.org (an engine that only indexes "websites that are Biblically-based" and "theologically-sound") and Jewogle.com (which provides a filter for Web-content tilted toward the Jewish community). Reza Sardeha, the founder of the Muslim-oriented imhalal.com had this to say about the appeal of his niche engine:
Actually we know that our users are not only Muslims, and once a week we get an email from non-Muslims as well saying that they like the content of our safe search engine and they allow their children to search knowing they won't bump into offensive content.
The appeal of these sites is obviously limited: Montet notes that, according to SearchEngineLand.com expert Danny Sullivan, "none of these website[s] has 'taken off and caught fire' but that 'it doesn't mean to say that they can't be good, profitable businesses.'" Gawker's Jeff Neumann gave the religious search engines a whirl and, needless to say, finds that they provided zero results when he searched for phrase, "F***ing."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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