Google has gone cougar-hunting. The search engine has classified “cougar” dating sites like CougarLife.com as “non-family safe” and banned them from its content pages. Google ads appear on over 6,700 websites, including biggies like YouTube and MySpace.
Sad news for Samantha Jones indeed — but unfortunately Google has a glaring double standard if you compare CougarLife.com to other dating sites. For example, most ads for SeekingArrangements.com, which matches young “sugar babes” with older, successful sugar daddies, are still considered “family-safe” by Google. However, dates found on CougarLife.com don’t come with financial perks, but the goal of SeekingArrangements.com is to pair a “generous benefactor” with “college students” and “aspiring actresses.” It’s not prostitution … but it’s not not prostitution, if you get what I’m saying. Google is concerned not only about the appearance of cougar ads, but also landing pages for the websites those ads link to, a spokesperson told Canada’s National Post. In CougarLife.com’s case, their homepage features a tasteful black-and-white photo of a pretty blond “cougar” kissing her scruffy-chinned “cub.” Really, Google’s problem seems to be with something about the word “cougar” in general: In an email from Google to CougarLife.com, which was forwarded to The New York Times, Google said it was concerned with “the concept of ‘cougar dating’ as a whole” and asked if the company would be willing to change “the ‘cougar’ theme/language specifically,” including its domain name. Claudia Opdenkelder, president of CougarLife.com, told the Times:
“It’s just all around wrong. It’s age and gender discrimination. It’s just about older, successful, independent, strong women who enjoy someone that’s younger. Some of the men sites, they are borderline prostitution, and Google has no problem having them advertise.”
Google has still not commented on why sugar daddy dating sites are considered “family safe.”
So let’s recap: older women who date younger men = too dangerous for the kiddies. But 45-year-old sugar daddies paying 18-year-old college freshman to hang out with them … hey, isn’t there a show on Nick Jr. about that? [New York Times, Mashable]