US Google users on the prowl for erotic images needed to be more explicit on Thursday after the search engine was tuned to avoid delivering porn in results for "ambiguous" queries such as "boobs."
An adjustment to Google search rolled out in the country over several days simplified image search settings from three modes to two, with the default being one that is cautious about revealing adult content.
The change put image search in step with other Google query categories such as video or web and was intended to err on the conservative side if terms could be interpreted in more ways than the simply salacious.
Examples give by Google included "boobs," a word used to refer to nincompoops as well as to women's breasts.
"We want to show users exactly what they are looking for - but we aim not to show sexually-explicit results unless a user is specifically searching for them," Google said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.
"If you're looking for adult content, you can find it without having to change the default setting -you just may need to be more explicit in your query if your search terms are potentially ambiguous."
The new Google image search default setting behaves similarly to the "moderate" setting most people had been using at the service, according to the California-based internet giant.
Google image search settings outside the United States were not changed.