Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sex trade at Google, not Craigslist

Does Craigslist REALLY have a “dirty little secret”? NO, but Google may!

Compete, a Website which claims “insights powered by over 2 million people,” declares a “scoop,” daring to bare the “virtual red-light district,” aka Craigslist:

"It’s no wonder that Craigslist is champion of the online classifieds revolution; Compete reports just under 17 million people visiting per month. The site boasts quick accessibility, a straight-forward interface, and a posting registry ranging from video games and community events to furniture and real estate. But as it turns out, many visitors to are looking for something more risqué than that lamp with the red velvet fringe."

The real wonder: Why did Compete need the “insights” of 2 million people to figure out sex is a prime draw at Craigslist.

Compete commenter jlewin quickly noted HIS Craigslist insights, observable to the naked eye:

This is a secret? The personals section is listed at the top center of Craigslist, with a number indicating how many thousands of posts there currently are. It’s always the second most popular section after for sale items.

In Craig Newmark targeting ‘bad behaviour’ at Craigslist I recount my conversation with Craig last year about rampant sexual listings at his namesake site:

During our chat, Craig Newmark spent much time discussing his efforts to rid Craigslist of “bad behaviour.” Like much about Craigslist, however, their policing of “bad behaviour,” is somewhat fluid, reflecting both the need to provide a safe, legal environment, and the wish to be inclusive and “compassionate.”

Like other Internet sites promoting open access and participation, such as MySpace, anti-social behaviour is a problem at Craigslist, same as in the offline world. As the day to day operations of Craigslist are run by Jim Buckmaster, CEO, Newmark spends much of his time trying to police predatory and illegal activities transpiring at Craigslist: scams, harassment, prostitution…

What about Google? Does it have a “dirty little secret” of its own?

In XXX Porn at powers AdWords business last year I drilled down on the Google sex trade:

A search on “porn” at yields 139,000,000 search results, a “porn” definition link and ten AdWords “Sponsored Links” on the first SERP, which hawk hardcore sex products and services.

Number one Google algorithmic search result:

PenisBot’s Porn Links
PenisBot’s Porn Links. All porn links what are worth your visit. Well organized collection of free, pay, avs sites are waiting you here.

Today, the number one “Sponsored Link” at in a search for “porn” is Google’s own “Sponsored Link” redirecting Google searchers to “Pics” at Google’s own test site “SearchMash”!

How about Google’s "classifieds" Base? The number one result for a search for “sex” there yields 1) a porn slide show, 2) porn pics for download and 3) to a hard core sex site, all from Gia, who identifies herself as "self-employed" and interested in "sex."

BOTTOM line, sex is no secret on the Internet.

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