A couple of years ago, Gary Illyes of Google noted that using many more X-rated curse words can trigger Google to think your site is adult oriented and thus be filtered out by SafeSearch. But how much, how often, and how explicit do those words need to be on your site to trigger it?
The topic came up again on Mastodon where Marty Goosed asked “Do we generally think that Google would punish your #content for using curse words? Imagine you’ve written the most helpful piece of content while using real-world language – and that means you have to chuck in the odd f-bomb for effect.”
John Mueller of Google responded, “No. No difference that I’m aware of for web search.” He did add that News, Top Stories, & Discover do have policies and mentions of using such words and that it can impact the visibility of your content in those areas. But with a web search, John said no.
So then I referenced the topic from two years ago and Gary Illyes chimed in and said it has to be more explicit and extreme use of those words to trigger SafeSearch in Google Search. Gary wrote, “I mean it definitely depends on the words you use. even with an extreme amount of “dammit” you would be good, but go down the more explicit cursing route, take it to the extreme, and eventually you’ll likely see that page in the results only with safe search off.”
I am not sure if any of you want to give it a whirl and test it but here is a bit more transparency on the topic from Google reps.