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How Safe are Search Results?

Posted in: Search Engines,Security,Statistics by Richard Hearne on December 14, 2006
Internet Marketing Ireland

Via SearchMob

Fascinating report from McAfee SiteAdvisor on the possible dangers of clicking on search results served by the top search engines.

Possibly the oddest finding for me was this:

8% of sponsored results are rated red or yellow – almost three times the percentage of red and yellow sites found in organic results. Notably, scam sites are found at a much greater frequency in sponsored results.

I would have thought that the major Search Engines would be far more vigilant about their sponsored listings?

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  1. Why would they be? As long as they are getting paid. I think this exposure will lead to an eventual higher trust of organic listings.

    Comment by Dave Davis — December 14, 2006 @ 11:51 am

  2. Hi Richard,

    as I mentioned at the bottom of my recent Accessibility in the news, something the Segala searchthresher plug-in has is the potential to filter the search results.

    Paul Walsh is talking on “Enabling Trust On The Web” at Bar Camp South East, where I’m sure he’ll demo it.


    Comment by Laurence Veale — December 14, 2006 @ 2:26 pm

  3. Dave

    I wonder if the SEs will see this as a threat? It shouldn’t take long for AOL to start trumpeting their ‘safety’ credentials (funny as the AOL stuff just wraps Google results).


    I wish I was able to go down but unfortunately (forunately?) I’m away until January 24 :(

    I’d love to see if the Google Toolbar actually prompts for a security risk after clicking on one of these ‘dangerous’ results? The Toolbar actually has far better anit-phishing detection than MS IE7. I’ve seen some testing and FF+GT far outpaced IE7.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 14, 2006 @ 3:10 pm

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