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Tech Saturday, February 9th 2013 at 1:00 pm

Impossible Google Queries Come Up With a Whole Mess of Porn Thanks to Search Bug

Ah, Google. Never change. Well, okay, change a bit, but please always have strange search bugs. Thanks to what’s being called an “impossible query,” there’s a way to make Google churn out a bunch of strange links to pornography when it should only be trying to solve a mathematical equation. It appears that Google’s been made aware of this via a Quora question, but there’s still time to experience the phenomenon for yourself.

Here’s Google search engineer Jeremy Hoffman explaining exactly what’s going on as an answer to a Quora question about it:

The problem comes from the way that Google’s interpreting the equation. -5^(3/5) ends end being parsed as -5 “3 5″ in Google. This is basically shorthand for “find pages with 3 and 5 next to each other, but without a 5.” That’s where the impossible query comes into play. This is something that Google shouldn’t find any results for, as in zero, but it instead manages to come up with a whole mess of porn links in addition to solving the equation in its calculator.

The bug will likely be fixed here shortly, so don’t expect to be able to dive into the strange corners of Internet pornography for very long. It’s not like traditional methods of searching via Google can’t come up with porn, though, so never fear.

(Quora via The Verge)

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