Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Google has purchased online ads in an effort to explain to users why an offensive image of Michelle Obama is appearing, and is ranked so highly, in its Google Image search results.

The Google ad, titled “Offensive Search Results,” appears directly over the pictures of the First Lady that show up when users perform a Google Image search for “Michelle Obama.”

Google’s advertisement reads, “Sometimes our search results can be offensive. We agree.” It then continues with a longer explanation (read the full text here) on why certain search results appear, and why they may be highly ranked.

Sometimes Google search results from the Internet can include disturbing content, even from innocuous queries. We assure you that the views expressed by such sites are not in any way endorsed by Google. […] We apologize if you’ve had an upsetting experience using Google. We hope you understand our position regarding offensive results.

The image was previously removed by Google on the grounds that the site hosting the Michelle Obama picture “violated Google’s guidelines by serving malware to visitors,” SearchEngineLand writes.

michelle_obama(2009-offensive-med-wide)

Now, however, the offensive photo has been posted to another site that does not violate Google rules.

SearchEngineLand points out that Google has taken out ads for other search terms that may turn up offensive results. An ad similar to the one featured with the “Michelle Obama” query turns up for Google searches for “Jew.”