So theorizes Chris Thompson, a columnist for the East Bay Express.

He says that Google’s practice of not running ads on risque pages with the word “kill” (and dozens of other unknown, proprietary blacklisted phrases) leads to stories being sanitized or outright spiked. One (anonymously cited) web publisher claims to have lost $7,000 in revenue because of a word infraction. Not quite chump change.

A simple solution is presented in the article, however: “What we found in working with Google was that because some of our content violated its ‘family-safe policy,’ as a result we had to work with other partners such as Yahoo,” says Kathryn Surso, Salon’s vice president of business development.

Long live the free market.