Kevin Delaney uncovers a new study, being released today by McAfee, which claims 3% of organic results and 9% of paid search results lead to dangerous web content.
Based on average usage patterns, SiteAdvisor estimates that a consumer will click through to an unsafe site from a search engine once every 15 days. For some popular queries, the results are even more risky: 57% of sites included in results for “free screensavers” across the major search engines expose consumers to risks or nuisances, according to SiteAdvisor. Other seemingly safe searches, such as “birthday cards” and “care bears,” yield Google results with about 15% of the sites qualifying as risky.
Wow! I can see the search engines defending the results for oganic results – after all, they’ll claim, they’re just indexing what is out there. But 9% of the paid stuff leads to viruses, spyware, spam and the like?? If they can’t control the quality of the ads, what hope do we have they can control the quality of the clicks?