Kiddle: Google-powered safe search engine for children

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 1, 2016

Kiddle is a new search engine that has been designed as a safe search engine for children.

It is usually not a good idea to leave children, especially young ones, alone with a device that is connected to the Internet as there is a lot of weird and outright disturbing stuff on the Internet that can shock even adults that are Internet veterans.

Even harmless search terms like eat, big or Inspector Gadget may return results that are not suitable for minors, and it does not really matter if you are next to your child when that happens or not, as you'd probably not expect explicit results to be returned for these types of searches.

Search engines try to filter out results by enabling Safe Search filters by default which filter explicit content before results are returned to the user. It is easy to turn off safe search on the other hand on all major search engines, and there is always the chance that explicit results fall through the cracks and are returned.


Kiddle combines Google's Safe Search filter with editorially controlled keyword and site blacklists. Basically, it prevents you from running searches for specific words or phrases, and blocks certain sites from appearing in the results at all.

All you get is an error message if you run a search for a blocked keyword that states: "Oops, looks like your query contained some bad words. Please try again!".

Some search terms or phrases, like "gay" or "homosexual" which usually return safe and explicit content, are blocked as well.

A couple of test searches using web and image search on Kiddle yielded good results, or more precisely, no results at all or only harmless results depending on the search term.

Ultimately, it even seems to be too restrictive when it comes to what is allowed and what is not. Search terms like "birth", "death", or "suicide" are all blocked likely for the same reason that other search terms are blocked that may return safe and explicit results. The main issue here is that it prevents searches for "suicide prevention" and other searches that include a blocked keyword as well.

It seems to be better at blocking explicit content than the Safe Search mechanisms of popular search engines which reduces the chance of results being returned that are not suitable for minors.

Inappropriate keywords or sites that are still returned in the search results may be reported to the Kiddle staff. According to the form, it will take about a business day to review the request and take action.

The service's privacy policy is surprisingly short revealing that no personally identifiable information are collected.

Kiddle: Google-powered safe search engine for children
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Kiddle: Google-powered safe search engine for children
Kiddle is a new search engine that is powered by Google's Safe Search algorithm and blocklists to provide minors with a safe search environment.
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  1. crystal said on April 5, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    I am 11 years old and I don’t trust kiddle it doesn’t let you play games or do anything fun so it’s a NO for kiddle for me.

  2. McKenzi said on December 6, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    can youu plz get rid of kiddle

  3. Jenny Davidson said on April 27, 2019 at 2:34 am

    You might like better. My kids have been using it for years and the results are better for student research. They also have an app for tablets.

  4. Adam said on March 3, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Searched on “filming nikon d7100” both in GOOGLE & KIDDLE. & you know what there’s nothing appear in KIDDLE. Is this what it meant for? disappointed :(

  5. Graham said on March 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    You can search for Hitler, but not Nazis.

  6. Bill said on March 2, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    According to the BBC, “Kiddle’s parent company is not named on the website”. Kiddle might be a good thing but not sure I’d want my kids using a ‘safe’ search engine I know nothing about (claims of privacy are easy). Kiddle sounds like a mash of ‘kiddie’ and ‘fiddle’.

  7. Terrine said on March 1, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    You hit the spot, Martin. It’s hardly an enrichment of the discourse when young people exploring – among other things – their identities find that these happen to consist of or contain ‘some bad words’. What were these people thinking?

  8. Andrew said on March 1, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    On a plus note:
    Privacy: we don’t collect any personally identifiable information, and our logs are deleted every 24 hours.

  9. beerpatzer said on March 1, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    “Pussycat” is not blocked, but “pussy” is. Same with “doggy” and “doggy style”. General insults such as idiot, imbecile or moron are not blocked but strangely “twit” is. “Kill” is a no no, even in the context of the 10 Commandments, but “massacre” and “holocaust” return explicit results.

    This engine should prove more interesting to adults doing research in sociology, than to actual kids.

  10. James said on March 1, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Will it be able to filter out Stormfront?

  11. Maelish said on March 1, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    It seems like a great idea. Unfortunately rights groups and “social justice warriors” will probably screw this up for everybody.

    1. Maelish said on March 2, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      Ironically I saw stories within a few hours of my post that confirmed my assumption. Groups were complaining that their special snowflake was blocked.

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