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What fraction of searches are porn?

I found a stat that claimed that 25% of internet searches were for porn. This appeared in the CS Monitor, and my guess is it came from here.

I don't see that high a fraction of porn queries in the AOL dataset though...perhaps as little as a few percent. I wonder if they were filtered? But I didn't think they were, not in that way anyhow.


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» Long tail in a short table from Skrentablog
I finally found some stats on the fraction of porn queries out there to answer my question...plus, it was in a table classifying user searches into overall categories. This data was obtained by some researchers who manually classified a full... [Read More]

Comments (4)

That number sounds a bit high to me as well for 2007 (those reports are from 2005). I believe it also varies quite a lot by search engine, because different engines have demographics that vary wildly.

This question always runs into definition problems: What is porn?

I've been shocked by what % of mobile queries are porn. It's insane.


Perhaps no one searches AOL for porn ;) If the moderate filter is applied, a search returns no results. Also, much like the case of Google, AOL staff may filter out those porn-related terms, in order to have a clean Aeitgeist (AOL Zeitgeist).

@Rocky: You asked -> "What is porn?"
I'm afraid I can't give you the definition of porn unless you are 18 or older :)

People search the web for porn out of curiosity because for most of them, the web is a place where they can go anonymous, much like those guys who go to the nudie bar.

I have looked at this question from a web filtering perspective and I was surprised at just how long the tail is for porn.

Blondes. Swedish blondes. Swedish BBW blondes. Swedish BBW lesbian blondes. etc. etc.

It seems like something that would be pretty hard to measure and I'd tend to assume that most porn search guesstimates underestimate the true search volume.

But an interesting person to ask would be Andrew Conru because it seemed like Friend Finder ads came up in a lot of the research I did, so I suspect they've got a good handle on porn SEM.

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