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Content policies for Google Search

Google uses automated systems to discover content from the web and other sources. These systems generate search results that provide useful and reliable responses to billions of search requests that we process daily.

Google Search encompasses trillions of web pages, images, videos and other content, and the results might contain material that some could find objectionable, offensive or problematic.

Google’s automated systems help protect against objectionable material. Search results should be useful and relevant, and limit spam responses. We may manually remove content that goes against Google’s content policies, after a case-by-case review from our trained experts. We may also demote sites, such as when we find a high volume of policy content violations within a site.

For more information, visit these sites:

Overall content policies for Google Search

These policies apply to content surfaced anywhere within Google Search, which includes web results. Web results are web pages, images, videos, news content or other material that Google finds from across the web.

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Child sexual abuse imagery or exploitation material

We block search results that lead to child sexual abuse imagery or material that appears to victimize, endanger, or otherwise exploit children. Learn how to report child sexual abuse imagery.

Highly personal information

Google might remove certain personal information that creates significant risks of identity theft, financial fraud, or other specific harms, which include, but aren't limited to, doxxing content, explicit personal images, and involuntary fake pornography. Learn how to remove your personal information from Google.

Spam

Google Search detects spam through automated systems. Google takes action against spam, which is content that shows behavior designed to deceive users or manipulate our search systems. We issue a manual action against a site after Google human reviewers determine that its pages are engaged in spam as described in Google's Search Essentials. Learn more about our spam policies for Google web search.

Webmaster & site owner requests

Upon request, we remove content that webmasters or site owners wish to block from our web results. Learn how to block access to your content and how to remove information from Google.

Valid legal requests

We remove content or features from our Search results for legal reasons. For example, we remove content if we receive valid notification under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). We also remove content from local versions of Google, consistent with local law, when we're notified that content is an issue. For example, we remove content that illegally glorifies the Nazi party from our German service, or that unlawfully insults religion from our Indian service. We delist pages on name queries, based on data-protection requests, under what’s commonly known as the “Right to be Forgotten” in the EU. We scrutinize these requests to ensure that they're well-founded, and we frequently refuse to remove content when there's no clear basis in law.

When possible, we display a notification that results have been removed and report these removals to Lumen Database, a project run by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, which tracks online restrictions on speech. We also disclose certain details about legal removals from our Search results through our Transparency Report. Learn how to make a Legal Removals Request.

Search features policies

These policies apply to many of our search features. Even though these features and the content within them is automatically generated as with web results, how they're presented might be interpreted as having greater quality or credibility than web results. We also don't want predictive or refinement features to unexpectedly shock or offend people. Search features covered by these policies include panels, carousels, enhancements to web listings (such as through structured data), predictive and refinement features, and results and features spoken aloud. These policies don't apply to web results.

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Advertisements

We don’t allow content that primarily advertises products or services, which includes direct calls to purchase, links to other websites, company contact information, and other promotional tactics. We don’t allow sponsored content that’s concealed or misrepresented as independent content.

Dangerous content

We don’t allow content that could directly facilitate serious and immediate harm to people or animals. This includes, but isn't limited to, dangerous goods, services or activities, and self-harm, such as mutilation, eating disorders, or drug abuse.

Deceptive practices

We don’t allow content or accounts that impersonate any person or organization, misrepresent or hide ownership or primary purpose, or engage in false or coordinated behavior to deceive, defraud, or mislead. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Misrepresentation or concealment of country of origin, government or political interest group affiliation.
  • Directing content to users in another country under false premises.
  • Working together in ways that conceal or misrepresent information about relationships or editorial independence.

This policy doesn't cover content with certain artistic, educational, historical, documentary, or scientific considerations, or other substantial benefits to the public.

Harassing content

We don’t allow harassment, bullying, or threatening content. This includes, but isn't limited to, content which might:

  • Single someone out for malicious abuse.
  • Threaten someone with serious harm.
  • Sexualize someone in an unwanted way.
  • Expose private information of someone that could be used to carry out threats.
  • Disparage or belittle victims of violence or tragedy.
  • Deny an atrocity.
  • Cause harassment in other ways.
Hateful content

We don't allow content that promotes or condones violence, promotes discrimination, disparages or has the primary purpose of inciting hatred against a group. This includes, but isn't limited to, targeting on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or any other characteristic that's associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization (like refugee status, immigration status, caste, the impoverished, and the homeless).

Manipulated media

We don't allow audio, video, or image content that's been manipulated to deceive, defraud, or mislead by means of creating a representation of actions or events that verifiably didn't take place. This includes if such content would cause a reasonable person to have a fundamentally different understanding or impression, such that it might cause significant harm to groups or individuals, or significantly undermine participation or trust in electoral or civic processes.

Medical content

We don't allow content that contradicts or runs contrary to scientific or medical consensus and evidence-based best practices.

Regulated goods

​We don’t allow content that primarily facilitates the promotion or sale of regulated goods and services such as alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals, unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons, or health and medical devices.

Sexually explicit content

We don’t allow content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. Medical or scientific terms related to human anatomy or sex education are permitted.

Violent extremist content

We don’t allow content produced by organizations or individuals that use violence against civilians to achieve political, religious, or ideological aims. This includes government-designated terrorist groups and other violent organizations and movements that pose real-world harm to our users. We also don’t allow content that facilitates or promotes the activities of these groups, such as recruiting, sharing materials that could facilitate harm, inciting violence, or celebrating attacks. Content related to violent extremism may be allowed in an educational or documentary context, but enough information must be provided to help people understand the context.

Violent & gory content

We don’t allow violent or gory content that's shocking, sensational, or gratuitous. This includes graphic depictions of:

  • Violent acts or incidents that result in extreme injury or death without historical or educational context
  • Exposed internal organs or bones without medical or scientific context
  • Identifiable victims of violent deaths
  • Animal abuse or killings outside of standard hunting, food processing, or cultural practices
Vulgar language & profanity

We don’t allow obscenities or profanities that are primarily intended to be shocking, sensational, or gratuitous.

Feature-specific policies

Some search features have specific policies that are necessary due to the particular ways they work. To learn more, go to the following pages:

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