Search Results Contain "Risky" Sites

Share this content:

All of the major search engines returned risky sites, such as those that install adware or spyware on users' computers, when popular keywords were searched, according to a new study from security company McAfee, Santa Clara, CA.

McAfee's SiteAdvisor division, which evaluates the safety of Web sites, studied the search results of nearly 1,400 popular keywords on Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Ask from January through April.

SiteAdvisor estimates that users make 285 million clicks "hostile sites" every month through search queries and paid search results are worse than organic results, according to "The Safety of Internet Search Engines Report."

"We are troubled by the untrustworthiness of search engines' ads. Search engines sells ads to sites that send users literally hundreds of e-mails per week...and sites that infect users' computers with adware programs," according to a statement in the report.

Sponsored search results, those paid for by advertisers, were deemed more dangerous than non-sponsored pages. On average, 8.5 percent of sponsored links were found to be dangerous, versus 3.1 percent of non-sponsored links.

MSN search results had the lowest percentage of dangerous sites at 3.9 percent, while Ask.com had the highest percentage at 6.1 percent, according to the study.

"Dangerous" sites made up as much as 72 percent of results for certain popular keywords, such as "free screensavers", "digital music" and "popular software".

close

Next Article in Digital Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above