Google is testing a new and visible way for searchers to report potentially offensive suggestions in its Autocomplete feature.

As things are right now, the test is limited to a very percentage of Google users.  Google is saying that it hopes to roll out the feature to all users around the world soon.  Google shares the screen shot below of one version of the reporting tool.  In the bottom right below the last Autocomplete suggestion, you’ll see in gray text, “Report offensive query.”  It’s possible that this isn’t necessarily what the final feedback invitation will look like, but this is one version that’s being tested currently.

It is confirmed by a Google spokesperson that the feedback test in a statement shared with Search Engine Land:

“Autocomplete predictions are based on searches previously carried out by users around the world. That means that predicted terms are sometimes unexpected or offensive. We have been actively working on improvements to our algorithm that will help surface more high quality, credible content on the web. In addition, we’re experimenting with a new feature that allows people to report offensive Search predictions. We’re working to incorporate such feedback into our algorithms, and we hope to roll this out more broadly over time. Autocomplete isn’t an exact science and we’re continually working to improve it.”

Google users already have the ability to report offensive Autocomplete predictions, but currently can only do it through a form that’s buried in Google’s support pages.  It’ll be more visible and more likely to be used if the feedback invitation is placed right in the Autocomplete suggestions, and will more likely lead to more reports.

 

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