Google “Michelle Obama,” then click on “Images” and you will find an extremely offensive photo of our First Lady (screenshot above).

In reaction to the firestorm over this image, Google has placed an online ad (just above the result) in an effort to explain to users why such a distasteful and disrespectful photo of our First Lady is appearing and is ranked so highly.

The advertisement apologizes: “Sometimes our search results can be offensive. We agree. Read more.”

On the second screen it reads:
“Sometimes Google search results from the Internet can include disturbing content, even from innocuous queries. We assure you that the views expressed by such sites are not in any way endorsed by Google. Search engines are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the Internet. A site’s ranking in Google’s search results relies heavily on computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page’s relevance to a given query. The beliefs and preferences of those who work at Google, as well as the opinions of the general public, do not determine or impact our search results.”

The sketch was removed last week by Google on the grounds that the site hosting the Michelle Obama snapshot “violated Google’s guideline by serving malware to visitors.” The name of the site previously hosting the image was buzzoverm.blogspot.com. But, the photo has turned up again, this time on another Web site, a “hot girls” blog that does not violate Google rules so Google is unable to remove it at this time.