Ask Jeeves is a unique service where you enter a question, and Ask Jeeves tries to point you to the right web page that provides an answer. At Ask Jeeves For Kids, answers have been vetted for appropriateness. Also, if Ask Jeeves cannot answer a question, it pulls results from various search engines in its metacrawler mode. At Ask Jeeves For Kids, no site that is on the CyberPatrol block list is supposed to be listed.
Backed by librarians, KidsClick lists about 5,000 web sites in various categories.
Looksmart's Kids Directory
The Kids Directory is a listing of over 20,000 kid friendly websites that were hand picked by employees of Looksmart subsidiary Net Nanny and vetted for quality. Looksmart also offers a safe search of the entire web, using Net Nanny software to filter Wisenut search results, as well as a free toolbar that uses the same service.
Yahoo for kids, designed for ages 7 to 12. Sites are hand-picked to be appropriate for children. Also, unlike normal Yahoo, searches will not bring back matched found by crawling the web, if there is no match from within the Yahooligan listings. This prevents possibly objectionable sites from slipping onto the screen. Additionally, adult-oriented banner advertising will not appear within the service. Yahooligans is the oldest major directory for children, launched in March 1996.
Most major search engines get their listings by crawling the web, rather than through human review and categorization, as with the sites listed above. This means its easy for possibly objectionable material to appear in search results.
As a solution, most major search engines offer some type of filtering ability. It's meant to keep out porn content and other material that most might not want children to encounter.
These filters are not perfect. Some material does get past them, and some safe material may get filtered out. To understand more about this, see the Harvard Criticizes Google's Adult Content Filter article that ran in our SearchDay newsletter in April 2003.
Below are tips on enabling porn filters for major search engines:
AllTheWeb: Use the Basic Settings page to enable the Offensive Content Filter option. The only works for searches in English.
AltaVista: Use the Family Filter Setup page.
AOL Search: Doesn't appear to offer a filter, but enabling Parental Controls might have an impact on web search matches.
Google: See the SafeSearch help page for instructions on setting up filtering on a permanent or as-needed basis.
HotBot: Use the Block Offensive Content section of the Filter Preferences page. Note that you may need to set this again if you change from using the default "HotBot" search engine that's offered.
LookSmart: LookSmart has never accepted adult content for listing within its directory results. However, obscure queries might bring these up in the crawler-based results that are sometimes provided.
Lycos: Use the Adult Filter section of the Advanced Search Filters page.
MSN Search: Use the Safe Search Filter on the Settings page.
Teoma: Teoma doesn't appear to offer a filter.
Yahoo: Set the SafeSearch Filter option via the Search Preferences page.