Sunday, 7 November 2010

Google: “The term ‘penetration’ is not allowed”.

Sorry this is a rant. If you don’t like that, just don’t read it.

Yesterday I created an entry for Astyran Pte Ltd (Singapore) in Google Places. I was feeling a bit lazy and just copied the description of the entry for Astyran BVBA (Belgium). Or, that was my intention but this was refused by Google.

I got the following error-message: “Please correct the following error: The term ‘penetration’ is not allowed”.


Google staff members must have a really distorted mind that they think of unspeakable things when encountering a neutral term such as penetration.  

It is certainly not fair that I cannot use this common term in the description of my services. This will be damaging to my business, since it is the term that potential customers will search for!

According to Merriam-Webster online the meaning of ‘penetration’ is as follows
a : the power to penetrate; especially : the ability to discern deeply and acutely
b : the depth to which something penetrates
c : the extent to which a commercial product or agency is familiar or sells in a market
2: the act or process of penetrating: as
a : the act of entering a country so that actual establishment of influence is accomplished
b : an attack that penetrates the enemy's front or territory
I know the term can be used in a sexual sense, but it is commonly used in other contexts too! Even worse, Google prevents me from using a term that they are selling as Adword! The results for a Google search (in Singapore) prove this (see sex ad on the right side):


Of course Google Places does not provide a clue on how to contact someone at Google to complain. Customer service is apparently also a term that is not in their books. (Ok, there is some support available at Google Places).

My dear Google, the book 1984 by George Orwell was not intended to be a manual!  Human language is too important to be meddled with by any company or the sex crazed geeks that seem to  inhabit them.

The problem with a company that has such a large market penetration (pun intended) as Google, is that – as a business – you can’t simply turn away. But as a business man I will certainly look very close at alternatives. 

Please stop imposing your skewed and biased view of the meaning of words on others. It is called censorship. And yes, I will  think of the children, thank you!

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